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This book offers an understanding of the major needs of bilingual children who also have disabilities. Chapters highlight the connections between the common knowledge base, programs, and methodologies of special education and those of bilingual education in order to explore the ways to help exceptional children of Asian, African, Hispanic, and Native-American heritage. Practical information is balanced with strong research. Topics include: a judicial perspective on bilingual special education; a development of the bilingual special education interface; language acquisition; issues and assessment; procedures and techniques for assessment; individualized educational programs; instructional plans and curriculum development; methods and materials; family involvement; and issues in policy development and implementation. An excellent resource for teachers, counselors, psychologists, and speech/language specialists.
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This book is about children who are learners at risk. They are bilingual or are from bilingual homes and sometimes have legitimate special education needs. We see a tremendous need for a meaningful interface between bilingual education and special education. During the last 40 years, special education classes were over-promoted and misused for these students in many parts of the United States. Declaring a student "mentally retarded," "learning disabled," or otherwise in need of special education and placing the child in a special class or resource room became an accepted method of educating ethnically, linguistically, and socio-economically different children. In some cases these children had authentic disabilities, but in other cases their linguistic or cultural background was the primary factor in their low test scores and subsequent special education placement. Because of the strong emphasis on inclusion and whole-school programs, the decades of the 1990s and 2000s have presented new challenges in properly identifying and serving these students.
Because of the tremendous increase in the numbers of Asian, Hispanic, and Native American students, school districts have been unable to ignore the need for adjusting instructional programs and service delivery models to better serve these groups and other linguistically and culturally different individuals. One result has been the improvement and expansion of bilingual education to provide for the educational needs of the students with limited proficiency in English. But the bilingual student with special learning needs, including authentic disabilities, continues to be improperly identified and inappropriately served in many school districts. It is on this group of learners that we focus our attention in this text. By interfacing the common knowledge base, programs, and methodologies of bilingual education and special education, we believe that these learners can achieve success and maximize their potential.
John Dewey's famous dictum that "what the best and wisest father wants for his child, the state should want for all its children" continues to have special significance today." By "all," we mean Anglo, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, African American, the poor, the rich, and all other linguistic, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic groups in the United States.
Objective of This Book
We have written this book as a resource for both regular and special education teacher trainers, staff developers, consultants, and others engaged in the preparation of ancillary school personnel, such as school counselors, psychologists, and speech and language specialists. It is designed to familiarize educators with the major needs of the exceptional child with limited skills in English. We provide information on inclusion, model programs, curriculum, and strategies for better educating this unique population of students.
Organization and Flexibility
We organized this text to emphasize the interface between bilingual and special education. We carefully sequenced the chapters to familiarize you with key issues from both areas and to demonstrate the creative convergence that can result when these two educational approaches are meaningfully integrated in an inclusive and collaborative environment. The major issues within the emerging field of bilingual special education have all been included in the text. We have tried to strike a balance between the theoretical and the practical dimensions of the material.
We wrote this book to promote maximum flexibility as well as breadth of coverage. Although it is designed as a text for courses in special education, bilingual education, and bilingual special education, certain chapters can also be used as supplementary material for many other education courses. By using the reference list and appendixes, you can achieve greater depth and breadth of treatment.
Features of the Fourth Edition
In response to comments from users of the earlier editions and from our reviewers, we have made some important changes and additions to this edition of the text. First, we have updated the conceptual framework and assumptions undergirding bilingual special education. We also have updated the material in keeping with the growing body of research in this area, the current state of "best" professional practice, and current legislation and regulatory requirements. Furthermore, we have added new material and current references to all the chapters. We have reworked the chapters on language acquisition and assessment to reflect the current research in these areas. The revised chapter on consultation greatly strengthens the text and helps situate it in the context of collaborative inclusion.
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