Strategies to Support English Learners with Learning Disabilities

The California Department of Education estimates there are 1.4 million English learner students (ELs) representing approximately 23 percent of all students enrolled in California public schools (2014 – 15 school year). Further, there are approximately 705,000 students with disabilities enrolled statewide of which 40 percent are students identified with a Specific Learning Disability (LD). With this significant population, there is a clear need to address their unique learning requirements. This project will explore inclusive learning environments and teaching frameworks that foster increased academic success for English learners with disabilities, predominantly those with Specific Learning Disabilities. These inclusive learning environments involve cultural responsiveness, collaboration, and parental involvement. Further, the literature suggests effective teaching frameworks include strategies found in Response to Intervention (RtI) and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), researched-based reading instruction, and Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) as essential to supporting English learners with learning disabilities.