239.  One of our ESL teachers has been concerned about her increasing #s of ESL/SPED students and we checked on of your previous responses to "how long the student stay in ESL." Scroll down to see Tricia's devil's advocate question below. Thanks for your time and consideration responding. We appreciate sharing your website w/our staff.  Okay....I read her answer and I'm playing devil's advocate here, I think. One of the Questions was how long should the student stay in ESL (and I believe it's referring to a special Ed ESL student). Here's her answer:  "I believe the answer in both cases --the case of the sick patient and the ESL student's case--may be: You MUST modify the services to make them so effective and efficient that the patient, or ESL student--becomes totally cured -- or academically fluent in English-- within the time the services are to be rendered.  The key idea here is: The needed services (the program modifications that the school district designs to serve students with limited command of the English language) MUST help students overcome the barrier, i.e., lack of academic English fluency that prevents limited English speaking students from achieving on a par with English speaking students.  If the student receives the prescribed services and still the barrier to academic success is not overcome, then THE PROGRAM must be changed. The student in need of services cannot be just left out there to solve his/her own problems." My devil's advocate question here is that in the case of many special ed students, their learning disability may be preventing them from ever being truly academically proficient in English??? Yes or no??? How do you "cure" someone of a disability?

Usually, a learning disability manifests itself in L1, that is, the primary language. Thus, in cases where a student may not attain true academic proficiency in English, probably that same student would NOT achieve academic proficiency through the L1 or primary language.

This is the reason that TESTING must be done through the PRIMARY LANGUAGE, because a TRUE disability would be easily detected through the primary language. But if there is NO disability through primary language testing, then, there is no disability in the second language. A learning disability impairs ALL types of learning, not just second language learning.

Hope this helps!!!!!!!


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net