Determining Difference from Disability : What Culturally Responsive Teachers Should Know book cover
1st Edition

Determining Difference from Disability
What Culturally Responsive Teachers Should Know

ISBN 9781138577756
Published April 20, 2018 by Routledge
202 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This essential book offers clear guidelines for determining if the Culturally Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students / English Language Learners (ELL) in your general education classroom are experiencing typical language differences, learning disabilities, or both. By combining helpful case-studies with insightful research, the authors provide a framework for differentiating instruction that uses culturally appropriate interventions to build upon student strengths while creating a foundation for further learning and achievement. You will discover how to:

  • Connect your own and your students’ cultural assets to classroom content;
  • Review language acquisition stages and design corresponding instruction;
  • Collaborate with peers and discuss the realities of reaching out for support and problem solving;
  • Choose effective and appropriate instructional strategies based on documentation of data through progress monitoring;
  • Move from a traditional behavioristic perspective to a more culturally responsive perspective;
  • Identify patterns in formal assessments and informal instruction in order to distinguish between language differences and learning disabilities.

In addition, the book includes a number of activities and graphs that can be implemented immediately in any classroom. Many of these materials can be downloaded for free from the book’s product page:

Table of Contents


Foreword by Catherine Collier

Meet the Authors




Chapter 1: The Role of the Cultural Self in Teaching and Learning

Chapter 2: File Review: Get to Know Your Students’ Culture(s) and Language(s)

Chapter 3: Inclusive Classrooms Begin With Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Chapter 4: Collaboration for Resilient Socioemotional Identities

Chapter 5: Moving Beyond Behavior Management to Student Empowerment

Chapter 6: Weighing Evidence: Challenges Due to Intrinsic or Extrinsic Conditions?

Chapter 7: Discussion and Final Thoughts

Appendix A: Trent’s Full IEP

Appendix B: Emotion Words List

Appendix C: Rosa's AQS III Scoring Form

Appendix D: Jun's NLP

Appendix E: Jun's AQS III Scoring Form

Appendix F: Collaborating with Families of English Language Learners, the "Sharing Basket" Project"

Appendix G: Rosa’s Story

Appendix H: When I Feel Angry, I Can Make Choices. I Can Handle My Anger in Good Ways!

Appendix I: Strategies and Examples for Less Acculturated Students

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Gerry McCain, PhD, is a professor of education at Southern Oregon University. He taught Bilingual Special Education in Las Cruces, New Mexico, prior to earning his doctorate in Bilingual Special Education.

Megan Farnsworth, PhD, is an associate professor of special education at Southern Oregon University.