Capstone/Dissertation Title

What Background Information Needs To Be Considered Before An ELL Is Referred For Special Education?


Spring 5-3-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Pam Telleen

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Ann Mabbott

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Sarah Amundson


The research question addressed is what background information needs to be considered before an English Language Learner (ELL) is referred for special education? This capstone discusses one teacher’s desire to improve an ELL background interview usually conducted before the special education referral process begins. It surveys educators who may refer ELLs for special education on their opinion about appropriate questions to ask families in the background interview. It also analyzes how to use the information to guide interventions and pre-­‐referral process. The author uses the educators’ surveys to form guidelines to ask in an ELL background interview. The author also created a five-­‐point guideline from the information she gathered to be used by public school teams when referring ELLs for special education.

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