Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


School of Education


Teaching English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Luz Garcia


The number of English Language Learners, both appropriately and inappropriately, placed in Special Education has risen in the public education system. This requires Special Education classrooms to incorporate language acquisition opportunities into the child’s education, but the school systems are not currently prepared to provide this to the staff and students. There is a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate curricula, limited collaboration between parents and teachers, and incomplete IEPs affecting students placed in Special Education and learning English as a second language. The purpose of the project is to address the needs of staff and families working with students who have ELL needs in a Special Education setting. It focuses on three areas: collaboration, IEPs and curriculum. The handbook, Supporting English Language Learners with Disabilities in Special Education, contains three subsections each with various resources for teachers to use. These materials include templates for teachers to share with other teachers, service providers, parents, and students to support all personnel both in and out of school. The second part of the project contains an adapted version of the Culturally Responsive and Relevant IEP Builder (CRRIB) to facilitate cultural and linguistic conversation around the IEP (Barrio, Miller, Hsiao, Dunn, Petersen, Hollingshead, & Banks 2017). The third section of the handbook provides a variety of resources to support English language development in the classroom. The final section of the project includes blank templates of everything offered in the first three sections. This handbook can be a general guide to supporting collaboration, the creation of culturally and linguistically appropriate IEPs, and finding curriculum materials. Ultimately, included resources can be adapted based on the specific needs of the learners. Through the use of this research and project, teachers, parents and students will be able to improve the academic, cultural, and linguistic support for students who are learning English in a Special Education classroom, ultimately improving their overall education.