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Response To Intervention (RtI) - RtI and ELLs

Response To Intervention (RtI)

Response to Intervention (RtI), a framework for modifying instruction based on early evaluation of student-learning needs, is gaining traction in schools.

RTI has the potential to affect change for English language learners (ELLs) by requiring the use of research-based practices based on individual children’s specific needs. All ELLs, however, need culturally and linguistically appropriate instruction no matter the educational setting. In other words, instruction and interventions must consider a student’s cultural background and experiences as well as their linguistic proficiency (in both English and the native language) in order for instruction to be appropriate.

Precisely, one of the many challenges in implementing RtI is determining students’ knowledge in their first language and how that reflects on their performance in their second language (English). Research has proven that transferability of skills from L1 to L2 plays an important role in the student’s ability to acquire the second language.

Our unique approach to the RtI model includes providing students grade-appropriate instructional programs in their native language (Spanish) at different language proficiency levels. This is of special importance, as 56% of all ELLs referred to special education are referred for reading difficulties (U.S. Department of Education, OSEP, 2003)

Source: A Cultural, Linguistic, and Ecological Framework for Response to Intervention with English Language Learners (Julie Esparza Brown, Portland State University, Jennifer Doolittle, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education)