In the scenario, Eduardo is a third-grade student who is having trouble staying on task, articulation, and is considered to have a reading disability. Although he did not qualify for dyslexia in the first-grade, he was recommended for tier III to help him decode longer words and build vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Since Eduardo had difficulty following directions, the dyslexia evaluation stated that he needed differentiated instruction to keep him on task. He also could use differentiated instruction since he is a bilingual student.
There are many activities that his teacher could provide to help Eduardo with staying on task and following directions.
Based on the information, we know that Eduardo is a bilingual student and has been tested for dyslexia as a first-grade student. Before identifying him with dyslexia, it is important to consider which language he is having trouble with due to him being bilingual. We can assume that he is having trouble with the English language, but it’s important to be sure.
In the case that Eduardo is having trouble with the language that is not used at home, then right away we can identify the source of the problem. He should then be a part of the RTI process to keep him on the same level as his peers. If Eduardo’s teacher still feels as if he is having issues with reading and vocabulary, she should mention it to his provided teachers.
As teachers, we should encourage Eduardo’s parents to try and use English at home, since this is the language he will be associated with during school.
Although teachers should encourage the English language being spoken at home, we do not discourage the first language being used as well. We feel as this is done and Eduardo is properly accommodated in this aspect, then he will have a better opportunity to reach success in his academics. As teachers and parents, we need to be reminded that learning one language is very challenging but learning two is extremely difficult to do. Therefore, we as teachers should encourage Eduardo and speak positive things to him as he is developing and encourage his parents to practice at home. The parents must be determined to be part of their child’s success. It takes the teachers and the parents coming together and collaborating with each other to fully provide the child with the best possible outcome for their education.
I believe the core problem is to find out what is Eduardo primary language of use. It can be a challenge to identify a child’s learning disability when more than one language is spoken because a child’s limited development can be incorrectly thought to be due to insufficient expose to the language. When assessing a bilingual child, it is important to begin by finding out if the child has a dominant language. Then the following areas should be investigated in the two languages the child uses: Whether the child realizes that the language he uses might employ different phoneme to grapheme correspondences, whether the child can blend sounds together to form words, and whether the child is able to segment words into syllables.
Eduardo did not qualify for dyslexia, but was recommended for Tier III intervention to build decoding skills that would help him decode longer words. It was indicated that Tier III would also aid in building vocabulary and reading comprehension. A thorough assessment should be undertaken, as well as in investigation into the child’s spelling strategies, especially to determine whether there is any interference between one language and the other. Identifying and assessing dyslexia in bilingual students requires an understanding of the structure of both languages. It is not possible to state that one language is more difficult than another.
When assessing a student, one must try and uncover the student’s underlying strength and weakness in relation to the different languages. Eduardo’s teacher reports that the student is now labeled with a reading disability and would like the school to consider retesting him for dyslexia eligibility since he was six years old the last time he was evaluated. The student also exhibits articulation difficulties and his teacher is requesting speech assessment. Therefore, a student’s language preference can be unconsciously determined by the student’s own learning pattern. Individual differences must then be taken into account before starting a remediation program. According to the article, Dyslexia and the English Learner Dilemma, “Dyslexia affects humans, not English readers, and this means that students in classrooms who are struggling to learn English may be at risk for dyslexia.” Teachers should understand that most ELL students will probably have dyslexia due to trying to process and learn the English language. Also, care should be taken into effect when working with children from minority ethnic groups, including children whose first language is not English. Take care to consider the child within the context of home, language, culture, and community. If necessary, use bilingual support staff and interpreters so that the child and the parents fully understand the measures that the school is taking.
Eduardo’s teacher should continue with the RTI process because Eduardo is not reaching the target area and needs to be kept on the same level as his peers. The RTI process comes in different tiers and Eduardo will be on tier two and three which is focused on Targeted Interventions and Intensive Interventions. These will focus on Eduardo’s reading since that is where he is currently struggling. Where Eduardo is currently at with the RTI process he does not need to be placed in the tier one category. His learning is well behind that of his peers and needs to be placed in the tier three interventions. The members that need to be on the RTI group is the classroom teacher because she is the one that is seeing his decline and need for more intensive instruction.
The classroom teacher also has the reasonability to attend the RTI meetings and stay in touch with the parents and his progress. The special education teacher should also be on the team to give the more intensive instruction in her classroom away from the distractions of the general education classroom. The special education teacher also gives the classroom teacher ideas on how to teach the students that are struggling. The principle of the school should also be on the team overseeing the RTI process and attends the RTI meetings. Most importantly the parents of the students should be on the RTI team. They provide information on the child’s background that may help the intervention process, they also follow the child’s progress, and can request and evaluation for special education services if the child is not making adequate progress during the intensive intervention process.
If Eduardo does have dyslexia, it would probably be best to test his phonemic awareness to confirm his knowledge of phonemes. If he is successful in knowing each phoneme, it’s necessary to move on to blending and sounding out the words using techniques such as Elkonin boxes or syllable and rhyming games. For phonemic awareness, Elkonin boxes would be best, because it gives Eduardo the opportunity to achieve phonemes, blends, and multiple syllable words. Syllable and Rhyming games can help him with sounds ending in the same letters, which will get him familiar with the beginning and ending of words. There are also many websites such as ABCmouse and PBSkids for him to learn and better identify with sounds, words, and sentence structure in the English language.
According to the article Understanding Dyslexia written by The Understood Team, they state that “Dyslexia can create difficulty with other skills, however. These include: Reading comprehension, Spelling, Writing, and Math.” Although the scenario states specific tasks Eduardo is struggling with, there are many more skills that he could be lacking due to Dyslexia. These skills can be improved by practicing reading comprehension by giving a simple paragraph and questions as well as using Elkonin boxes.
By figuring out Eduardo’s needs in the classroom, his teachers are helping him be a successful student. Even though dyslexia may be difficult and frustrating to students, there is always a way to help them improve their skills and continue to do great things in the classroom. Teachers and parents are the main support system for the child when he or she has a learning disability, and it’s always important to encourage that student as much as possible for them to gain self confidence and be motivated to learn.