ERIC Number: EJ804080
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Involving Parents of English Language Learners with Disabilities through Instructional Dialogues
Barrera, Manuel; Liu, Kristin K.
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v19 n1 p43-51 Apr 2006
In today's educational climate of increased accountability for learning, parent involvement in the education of children is a topic that permeates educational discussions. Schools urge parents to support their child's learning at home by assisting with homework and reading every night, to participate in school committees, and to volunteer in classrooms. One group of parents in particular, parents of students with disabilities, has additional legal mandates that support their involvement in the identification/eligibility of children for special education as well as instructional planning (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 2004). Parents of English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities is a group that faces a number of possible barriers to being fully involved in the education of their child in the way that U.S. educators and policymakers conceive of involvement. Recognizing the barriers makes it possible to reach out to parents and support them in their efforts to become involved. In this article, the authors first identify some barriers to involvement of linguistically diverse parents. Then, they describe a process developed through a previous study (Barrera, Vang, Liu, & Thurlow, 2005) that involved parents from multiple language groups. Group and individual dialogues about the parents' perspectives on effective instructional strategies for their sons and daughters with disabilities were used. Results of this effort demonstrated parents' significant interest and engagement in the kind of instruction to which their children are exposed and keen opinions on the nature of their children's education. Here, the authors describe the process used to establish relationships with parents and obtain their feedback on instruction. They hope that special educators will see the potential for adapting the process to develop instructional dialogues with culturally and linguistically diverse parents about the instruction of their children with disabilities.
Descriptors: Educational Strategies, Instructional Development, Parent Participation, Second Language Learning, Disabilities, Parent School Relationship, English (Second Language), Performance Factors, Special Education, Academic Accommodations (Disabilities), Instructional Leadership, Outreach Programs
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site: http://www.casecec.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Parents; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001