Fordham Notes: Needs of Bilingual Special-Education Students are Topic of Summer Institute

Monday, June 30, 2014

Needs of Bilingual Special-Education Students are Topic of Summer Institute

A five-day event starting July 1 at Fordham will offer parents and educators an in-depth look at how best to teach special-needs children who are learning English as a second language.

The Graduate School of Education will host the Bilingual Special Education Summer Institute at the Lincoln Center campus from July 1 to 3, and on July 7 and 8.

The institute “will provide an overview of the latest research-based knowledge on effective practices for learners diverse in culture and ability,” according to a brochure. Experts in bilingual education will present on several topics including strategies for bilingual special education students, the ways in which teachers can use students’ native languages to promote learning, and the importance of bilingual special education.

Diane Rodriguez, Ph.D.
“Research shows that teachers working in urban settings must be prepared to implement both theoretically sound and culturally responsive teaching because their students are extremely diverse in culture, language, ability/disability, and socioeconomic status,” said Diane Rodriguez, Ph.D., associate professor at GSE, in an interview posted on the graduate school’s blog.

Of the more than 150,000 English language learners in the New York City school system, 22 percent are special-needs students, she said.

The institute is open to educators, graduate students, parents, school psychologists, school counselors, administrators, and professionals in the area of special education. The registration options include single-day attendance and professional development credits.

“Bridging the intersection of bilingual and special education will provide insights into the multifaceted complexity of language, culture, and the continuum of ability/disability for positive social, affective, cognitive, and academic outcomes,” Rodriguez said.

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