Dual Language Immersion and IEPs

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,383
    Likes Received:
    1,729

    Dec 17, 2019

    A question that popped up in a Facebook group this morning that has me pondering.

    Mom has Child in a DLI program. Child has some disability-related behavior issues resulting in an IEP, though academically does respectably. Child gets very frustrated in Foreign Language portion of the day and has been having regular melt-downs and even violent outbursts.

    Mom is curious what rights, if any, Child is entitled to in as something as optional as a DLI program. Would Child likely be able to access extra supports such as individual English translation? How much does that defeat the purpose and experience of the DLI program? Does the fact that it's DLI disqualify it as a reasonable LRE environment?
     
  2.  
  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    230

    Dec 17, 2019

    This is a really interesting question! Can't say I have any ideas, but as I process through things, my mind focuses on the idea of "general education curriculum" and access to that. What would be different about the DLI program, other than optionality. So, from a content perspective, I wouldn't think it would be treated any differently. The optionality part though...not sure.

    My mind next goes to the idea of gifted or other technically optional programs, and supports that a student can be provided if a disability interferes with a child's ability to access those parts of the curriculum. To me, more advanced/gifted programs aren't so much "options" as they are just opting in to the appropriate placement in terms of instructional level. If a child can't access instruction at his/her instructional level, that reduces the "optionality" part of it.

    Next, my mind goes to an elective in high school - for example, what if a student demonstrated substantial difficulty in a non-required music class, and only that class? Would that qualify the student for support?

    Next, my mind starts to wonder about the child only demonstrating such extreme behavior in a specific subject - as in, the child never demonstrates those behaviors in any other subject, at home, or in the community? That seems like an odd situation, and to the extent that the behaviors were occurring at least a little bit in other situations, I'd think that would render the optionality part of things a bit less important.

    While there are some interesting theoretical questions here, from a practical question my guess would be that this behavior wouldn't be 100% isolated to the foreign language portion of the day, thus moving the child's difficulty into the "non-optional" portion of the day, rendering the optionality moot. Even if the behavior were 100% isolated, my strong prediction would be that it would only be a matter of time before the child started exhibiting those behaviors in other settings, so from an early intervention perspective, I'd support moving forward with additional supports, however that were defined.

    Exact details of SPED eligibility, though (e.g., case law, state/district law, district customary practices), is a different beast...
     
    bella84 and Backroads like this.
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,377
    Likes Received:
    2,564

    Dec 17, 2019

    If, as I suspect, that this is one of the lower grade levels, I would melt down too if I was receiving instruction in a language that I really knew nothing about, especially if it was taxing the knowledge I had in the L1 to learn the L2. The fact that this is optional kind of sets bells off in my head that no, his IEP will not cover his learning a second language in a dual immersion program, especially if he has some difficulties with learning in the L1. The supports covered from the IEP are based on allowing the child to be successful in school. His response to the DLI instruction is a strong indicator that he may not be at a level where DLI is not going to be nearly as successful at this point in his education, despite the fact that children typically learn languages better the younger they are exposed to them. He may be needing lots of other subtle clues just to function well in the L1, and immersing him in an L2 strips him of those clues, making his chances of success greatly diminished. I suspect the optional nature of this program is going to give the CST pause, especially if inclusion may undermine what is being taught and gained in his L1 instruction. If he is not learning in the DLI part of the day, that amount of time is lost to work on the basics. Theoretically, he is losing half a day of instruction, and I would have to object that this is, therefore, detrimental to his academic success. If the parents want him to get proficient in a second language, I would think the cost and supports needed would fall on them. With age and more tolerance for things he struggles with, the DLI may work. However, if to be in DLI he must have an aide who can translate everything for him, you lose the benefits and still take a very real risk of causing a set back in his L1 instruction.
     
    EdEd and Backroads like this.
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,377
    Likes Received:
    2,564

    Dec 18, 2019

    I remember an example that one instructor gave in my graduate class to earn my TOSD. He had a parent who wanted all of the bells and whistles, and he was there to explain to the parent why all the bells and whistles were not in the approved IEP. He told the mother that although he would love to drive a Tesla, there was no money for that. Presenting all of the information about how the Tesla is a superior driving experience didn't change the fact that to get from A to B, the Chrysler minivan in the parking lot was sufficient. What the child needed was covered by the minivan - what the parent wanted, the Tesla, was overkill and not necessary. I suspect that the DLI program is like driving with the Tesla, when the child really needs that minivan, to become able to learn and succeed in mainstream classes at some point.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,383
    Likes Received:
    1,729

    Dec 18, 2019

    One thought that was big with me was the idea of English translation. I don't know if this is a hard and fast rule of dual language immersion programs, but in my experience in my area, the Foreign Language teacher Does Not Speak English. Seriously, the one at my school cannot speak English if any students are around. She relies on hand gestures when we are on recess duty together to communicate with me. The idea is give the students no other choice but to listen to the language and hopefully pick it up.

    If the Foreign Language teacher were to speak English to even one student to help support them, that (once again, in my area) go against the vision of the DLI program. I can't think of a convenient way to keep other students from hearing the English help. I suppose if the student had a one-on-one aide for matters other than English translation, the aide could translate... but only if the aide knew fluently the language in question and I just don't see a situation where an IEP would call for a one-on-one aide who MUST know the foreign language. Because I just don't see learning of the foreign language as a legitimate IEP goal. And if the goal of the foreign language were so important, why are we translating?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
    vickilyn likes this.
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,377
    Likes Received:
    2,564

    Dec 18, 2019

    I absolutely agree. The IEP is to get this child on track with average students in an average classroom. It is geared to make sure that the child in question is grasping the basics so that there can be building taking place on top of the basic building blocks. The DLI program has a completely different agenda. I say that a child who has meltdowns when in that program is letting anyone who is listening know that this is beyond what he is capable of at this point in his life. If learning a new language becomes something that he really wants as he ages, well, nothing says you can't learn later. For now, however, this child has other issues that must take precedence, IMHO. I truly feel for that child.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,894
    Likes Received:
    1,731

    Dec 19, 2019

    In our French Immersion programs, Special Ed support is minimal at best. There certainly are students who have IEPs, but heavily modified or replacement programs are not provided. Any modifications or accommodations that ones that the classroom teacher must be able to provide on their own; there isn't pull-out support and, unless things have changed dramatically in the past couple of year, almost no in-class support. My school is just over half a kilometer from a French Immersion school; we frequently enroll students who started in the FI program but required more support than is available.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    1,100

    Dec 19, 2019

    Are there any other students who speak this child's language to have as a buddy? One of my students with autism is having difficulties communicating with us since he speaks Mandarin at home and his parents are not reinforcing the English skills we are working on in school. There aren't any students or teachers who speak Mandarin so we can't give him a buddy or any other supports in his language. It is a 100% special education school so we provide all other supports.
     
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,383
    Likes Received:
    1,729

    Dec 19, 2019

    My impression from the post he was a native English speaker. I assume a majority of his classmates are also native English speakers, but if English is discouraged in the classroom, he'd have to wait for another time of day to use English with them.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    1,100

    Dec 19, 2019

    OK I misread it. I'm not familiar with these types of classes. Is the whole school dual immersion? I guess there's not another school he could attend?
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,377
    Likes Received:
    2,564

    Dec 19, 2019

    My impression is that mom has chosen to enroll the student in DLI, and now wants to know if she can get extra support based on the IEP that would provide English translation, which negates the benefit of DLI. The original post mentions that the DLI is an optional program.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,383
    Likes Received:
    1,729

    Dec 19, 2019

    I had to go back to the post.

    So, the immersion program is one class in the grade, other glasses being standard, no foreign language. Half the day all curriculum is delivered in Mandarin, other half of the day they switch teachers for reading/language arts skills in English.

    DLI is optional, something families ask to join, spaces filled as space allows. So the Mom sought this program out.

    So it seems the kid could leave the class and join a regular class, which so far in the conversation is being considered, but the family really wants the DLI program if there's anyway to make it work.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    1,100

    Dec 19, 2019

    I guess I'm just confused as to why the parents are stressing the kid out if alternative class is available :dizzy:
     
    Backroads likes this.
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,383
    Likes Received:
    1,729

    Dec 19, 2019

    I really have no right to speak for them, but I know in some areas DLI is a status symbol.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,377
    Likes Received:
    2,564

    Dec 19, 2019

    I think you nailed it. DLI is a status symbol and looks good on a transcript for college, down the line. However, if being in DLI causes the child to have melt downs and violent outbursts, I would think that it negates the entire experience. Plus, as you mentioned, the whole point of DLI is no translation into the L1, which is English. Trying to get English translation through the IEP, therefore, makes DLI a farce for this child. As I mentioned before, people learn second languages at later ages all the time. If this child wants to learn Mandarin when older, he can still do that, but I think it needs to be a little bit more the way traditional second language classes are taught in HS, where he is building by using the English he has as a core. DLI is not for everyone, as this child is bearing out. Since English isn't used in the DLI, there is no way the IEP is going to be valid for that.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. MrsC,
  3. Tony009,
  4. Tyler B.
Total: 751 (members: 5, guests: 723, robots: 23)
test