Publication Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Multicategorical Special Education

First Advisor

Philip Boudreau, Ph.D.


This study investigated the knowledge and opinions of teachers with regards to the identification of English language learners (ELLs) for special education services. The participants were 22 general education and special education teachers at two schools in a school district in the Chicago suburbs. The data collected included responses to a questionnaire. The questionnaire asked teachers to consider different factors that influence the placement of ELLs in special education. The results indicated that teachers did not believe there is a disproportionate amount of ELLs being identified for special education. On average, approximately 90% of the teachers surveyed believe that teacher training, language barrier, response to intervention (RTI) implementation, and parent communication all are factors in ELL identification. Almost half believed that socioeconomic status did not influence ELL identification.