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The approach is based on the Response to Intervention (RTI) model, which enables teachers to identify and support students' diverse learning needs. The authors show that RTI is the ideal framework for teaching English learners, who come to school with widely varying backgrounds and skills. These students will almost certainly need extra support, as they are faced with learning language and content simultaneously. But some prove to need more intensive interventions, and the RTI model helps teachers determine when that is the case and what level of support is required to give students the chance to succeed.
If a student does not improve in response to progressively intensive interventions, the next step is to test the student for learning disabilities. Determining whether an English learner has a learning disability is particularly challenging, and this book offers clear guidelines for distinguishing between lack of language proficiency and learning disability.
To illustrate the entire RTI process, and to show its effectiveness with the broad range of English learners that schools are asked to serve, the book provides numerous classroom examples and focuses on four representative students. Readers will follow these studentswho are of different ages, come from different countries, and have attained different levels of language proficiencythroughout the book as they work with the teachers who are committed to their success.
Through these stories, it becomes clear that teachers who are using RTI to support EL students should themselves be relying on the support of their colleagues in a Professional Learning Community. The authors situate their examples in a PLC context and share vivid dialogue from team meetings in which teachers discuss their students, work out the best ways to help them overcome their difficulties, and share their successes.
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