Prereferral Process with Latino English Language Learners with Specific Learning Disabilities: Perceptions of English-as-a-Second-Language Teachers

Emily Ferlis, Yaoying Xu


This study explored perceptions of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) teachers on the prereferral process for Latino English language learners (ELLs). Using Colaizzi’s (1978) phenomenological approach, qualitative data were collected through interviews with four ESL teachers. Analyses of the data indicated that the ESL teachers used research-based interventions and progress-monitoring in the prereferral process with Latino ELLs. Data analysis also indicated negative participant perceptions of parental and school-level influence on the identification process.  Key concerns about the identification of Latino ELLs with specific learning disabilities (SLD) are presented, raising questions about current practices in school districts with small ELL populations.


English learners, prereferral, learning disabilities, teacher perception, Latino

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