Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2018

Publication Title

Insights on Learning Disabilities




National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data reveal that students with disabilities who are emergent bilinguals (English language learners) have the lowest levels of profficiency in reading and mathematics among all student groups. We consider issues related to the instruction of emergent bilinguals, including those identified as having specific learning disabilities, using a Response to Intervention (RTI)/Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model. In so doing, we argue that instructional practices consistent with a robust Tier 1 framework are beneficial to emergent bilinguals with and without learning disabilities while differentiating Tier 2 and 3 interventions may improve outcomes for emergent bilingual students at risk for learning disabilities. To optimize the delivery of services to emergent bilinguals with and without learning disabilities, we propose a collaborative triad among general education, special education, and bilingual resource teachers. We consider implications for classroom practice, stafing, professional development, and educator preparation.


This article was published by Learning Disabilities Worldwide (LDW) and appeared in Insights on Learning Disabilities, volume 15, issue 2, pp. 127-147, 2018. Permission to archive the article here was granted by the editors. Copyright of the article is held by LDW. Please address usage request to help@ldworldwide.org.