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Article Review: Differentiating Curriculum And Instruction For English Language Learners With Special Needs

925 words - 4 pages

The article being discussed is: Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction for English-Language Learners with Special Needs by John J. Hoover and James R. Patton. The stated purpose of the article is teaching and curriculum, specifically the need to adapt both for ELLs who are exceptional. This article gave suggestions of how best to adapt teaching methods and curriculum to the needs of ELLs, as well as how to solve problems that may arise.
The article opened by discussing some major problems ELLs have in the education system, specifically with special education. The continual use of standardized tests in assessing ELLs is a problem because these tests often underestimate students’ academic potential and progress. Because of the unfair standardized assessments, ELLs continue to be at-risk for being placed in special education. The article then stated that there needs to more use of authentic curriculum, and more cultural and linguistic diversity in the curriculum to accommodate students and their specific needs. In order to meet more diverse needs, educators should focus on key principles rather than looking for an all-encompassing program for ELLs.
The article stated the five principles for Ells with special needs are “learning and developments that facilitates joint productive activities among students, learners’ prior knowledge and learning, educational activities within the context of students’ prior experiences and skills, complex solutions and higher-level thinking, and ongoing verbal dialogue.” In order to have effective curriculum implementation, teaching must emphasize: “academic content relative to students’ culture, background, environment, and prior experiences; multiple content knowledge and skills that are reinforced over time and across subject areas; cognitive and academic goals in integrated ways; high expectations while valuing diversity; and active learning and inquiry-based tasks.”
There are six factors for curriculum what will make it more relevant for ELLs with special needs: language function, acculturation, conceptual knowledge, thinking abilities, cultural values/norms, and teaching/learning styles. All of curriculum decisions should factor in the family and their values. According to the article, there are many other important factors when implementing instruction. Gender roles may differ depending on family and cultural expectations and responsibilities, these differences should always be taken into account in both the curriculum and when monitoring a student’s interpersonal relationships. Understanding the different disciplines of different families and cultures is very important in judging a student’s interaction and when guiding a student. Other important factors to remember are: the different importance placed on time, as well as religious, health, and cultural customs. It is important to respect all parts of a student’s family and cultural values and observances.
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