What are the indicators of exceptionality a classroom teacher should look for when a student also has a language barrier?

I interviewed professor Aziz Benmimoun from public school PS 721q.





1. What are the indicators of exceptionality a classroom teacher should look for when a student also has a language barrier?


Language performance deficiency is often misunderstood and many ELL’s are being referred for special need. Exceptional students usually exhibit behavioral as well as learning disabilities.




2. How do informal and formal assessment results factor into placement?


Data is key in formal assessments, especially data that supports the inferences that were made from the exam. The data is computed prior to summarization.

3. what role do parents and teachers have in placement?


Parents are crucial members of the team because because they have first hand knowledge of their childs strengths and needs. Parents have the right to be involved in the meetings and the IEP process.


4. what are some primary factors that are exhibited in underachievement that may not necessarily signal special education needs?


Underachievement is usually viewed as a student being below average. Every student is different and factors will be based as such.


5. How are changes among individual ELL proficiency levels over the course of the school yearaccounted for?


Over the course of the school year, the students proficiency levels tend to progress from the speaking, reading and listening before achieving proficiency in writing. The trend is that writing is the last and most difficult skill an ELL student masters before becoming proficient in the L2.


6. How are diagnostic, formative, and summartive assessments integrated for Ells in the mainstream classrooms?


Assessments in all forms are essential in designing coherent instruction. Without ongoing assessments, the instructor will not be able to diagnose therefore meet the needs of his students.


7. What are the benefits of the SIOP protocol for native English speakers as well as those for whom English is an anditional language?


Small group instructions is at most benefit to students regardless of language proficiency, as instruction is tailored to each students needs.

How does the assessment and placement process in your state facilitate achievement among ELLs?


In New York, the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) is the only assessment instrument for measuring the English language proficiency of a student who may be an ELL. The results of this test are used to determine the type of instructional program into which the student must be placed.

Comparison of the use of the AZELLA to the assessment and placement process in New York.


The AZELLA is used for placement and reassessment purposes for students who are identified as a second language learner. Unlike New York, students who are set into an English language learner program will take the AZELLA reassessment once a year until achieving English proficiency.

How do AZELLA score reports facilitate achievement among ELLs?


After the test has been administered along with bringing out the results, the district is responsible for making this information useful. Based on the results, work on improving the skills of English Language Learners.

                                                                   Scholarly Resources




Best Practices for Educating English Language Learners: History, Controversy, and a Path Forward Research Brief | urcues.org Written by Valerie L. Marsh, PhD July 2018.


Determining the Academic Achievement of English Language Learners (ELLs) by Using Additional Measures of Growth Adriana Maria Marin University of Southern Mississippi.






Guide to Navigating and Using the AZELLA reports www.cms.azed.gov


The New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners www.nysed.gov


English Language Learners www.dvusd.org


Eastern Stream Center on Resources and Training (ESCORT). (2003). Help! They don’t speak English. Starter kit. Oneonta, NY: State University College.

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