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Strategies to Identify and Support English Learners with Learning Disabilities

No definitive processes exist for identifying English learner (EL) students with learning disabilities and determining the best academic supports for them. Educators may struggle to determine whether a students academic difficulties stem from a language development need, a learning disability, or some other factor(s). Barriers to inconsistent identification of EL students with learning disabilities often include a lack of early intervention strategies or poorly designed and implemented referral processes. As a result, EL students are both under- and overidentified for special education services. Read a review of research and best practices published by The Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd.

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