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Why Do English Learners Struggle With Reading?

Distinguishing Language Acquisition From Learning Disabilities
Now in its second edition, this essential guide helps educators make appropriate instructional and eligibility decisions for English Leaners, and includes research-based strategies and techniques.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506326498
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2016
  • Page Count: 224
  • Publication date: April 07, 2016

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Make the right instructional and eligibility decisions to help your English Learners!

Do your students’ reading difficulties reflect language acquisition issues or a learning disability? Now in an updated second edition, this essential guide helps educators make informed, accurate choices about strategies and services to support English Learners.

Developed for general and special education teachers and service providers, this trusted resource offers a variety of research-based best practices, and includes

  • Nine common misconceptions that can lead to wrongful placement of students in special education
  • Theories of second language acquisition
  • Select evidence-based methods for teaching reading to students learning English
  • Issues to consider and techniques to use when assessing students for special education and making data-based decisions
  • Role of cultural influences in reading instruction
  • Expanded coverage of multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS)

Readers will find helpful vignettes, checklists, and suggestions that support outstanding teaching practices and appropriate, effective use of assessment and referrals.

"This book provides a wealth of information on ELs within the RTI process. The authors provide a number of practical checklists that can be used by any school district. Very few books address the topic as well as this one does."
Jennifer Urbach, Associate Professor
University of Northern Colorado

Key features

  • New, research-proven methods for distinguishing between language learning difficulties and learning disabilities
  • Assessment techniques for identifying learning disabilities and measuring proficiency in English as a Second Language
  • Using Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in instruction and identifying learning disabilities
  • Using prereferral intervention with English Language Learners to reduce inappropriate referrals to special education
  • Instructional aids and "how-to" guides for working with ELL students who are struggling with reading


John Hoover photo

John Hoover

John J. Hoover is Associate Research Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and a former K–12 special educator, teaching diverse students representing multiple languages and cultures in western, southwestern, and mid-western states. He earned a BA in Elementary and Special Education (Intellectual Disabilities), an MA in Learning Disabilities and Emotional Disorders with an emphasis in Reading, and a PhD in Curriculum specializing in Special Education. His research agenda for the past two decades has focused on the topic of culturally and linguistically responsive special education referral and assessment of English language and other diverse learners. He is currently PI on a multi-year grant funded project addressing ELs and multi-tiered supports, special education referral and assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse learners, and graduate level teacher preparation for teaching English language and other diverse learners with and without disabilities. Select recent coauthored/coedited books include: Why do English learners struggle with reading: Distinguishing language acquisition from learning disabilities (Pearson); Linking assessment to instruction in multi-tiered models: A teacher’s guide to selecting reading, writing and mathematics interventions (Pearson); Differentiating learning differences from learning and behavioral disabilities: Teaching diverse learners through multi-tiered response to intervention (Allyn & Bacon); and Methods for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional learners (Pearson Merrill). He also is co-author of a nationally normed reading test, Early Reading Assessment (Pro-Ed), and of a research-based educator self-assessment and professional development tool, Core ESL Instructional Practices (CEIP) Guide. Recent referred journal publications include: Increasing usage of ESL instructional practices in a rural county elementary school, Rural Educator (2015); Culturally responsive special education referrals of English learners in one rural county school district: Pilot project, Rural Special Education Quarterly (2015), and Reducing unnecessary referrals: Guidelines for teachers of diverse learners, Teaching Exceptional Children (2012).

Leonard M. Baca photo

Leonard M. Baca

Leonard M. Baca is Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado Boulder. He earned an Ed.D. from the University of Northern Colorado and has been a professor of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder since 1973. He has taught courses in bilingual and bilingual special education and served as the program chair. Professor Baca is founder and Executive Director of the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education where he has directed and managed millions of dollars in grant funded projects promoting the education of ELs and students with disabilities. He is author or co-author of numerous publications dealing with English learners with and without disabilities, including the Bilingual special education interface (Merrill) and Methods for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional learners (Pearson).

Janette K. Klingner photo

Janette K. Klingner

Janette K. Klingner was a bilingual special education teacher for ten years before earning a PhD in Reading and Learning Disabilities from the University of Miami. Her recently coauthored or coedited books include Teaching Reading Comprehension to Sudents With Learning Difficulties (Guilford Press), Methods for Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (Merrill/Prentice Hall), Case Studies in the Social Construction of Disability: Minority Students in Special Education (Teachers College Press), Evidence-Based Practices for Response to Intervention (Brookes), and Why Are so Many Minority Students in Special Education?: Understanding Race and Disability in Schools (Teachers College Press).
Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors

Introduction to Second Edition

1. Distinguishing Between Language Acquisition and Learning Disabilities Among English Learners: Background Information

2. Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and English Learners

3. Misconceptions About the Second Language Acquisition Process

4. Helping Classroom Reading Teachers Distinguish Between Language Acquisition and Learning Disabilities

5. Select Reading Methods for Teaching English Learners

6. Special Education Assessment of ELs

7. Data-Driven Decision Making: Distinguishing Language Acquisition and Cultural Behavior From a Disability

8. Conclusion: Putting the Pieces Together





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.