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Document Type


Publication Date



Modern Languages

Faculty Advisor

Kevin Telford, PhD


A growing trend in Special Education is misidentifying and over-representing
Hispanic English Language Learners (ELL). In Fall 2015, the National Center
for Education Statistics reported for the population of school-age children in
K-12, 4.8 million students identified as ELLs, of which 3.7 million students
used Spanish as a language at home. My study will show the impact factors can
have on Hispanic ELLs when these students are placed in the most restrictive
settings, such as Special Education. I will also show the benefits these
students can have when placed in the least restrictive settings. Many ELLs are
often labeled and placed in the wrong educational programs due to poor language
proficiency or delays from dual-language learning. Sometimes these students do
have learning or behavioral disabilities and belong in more contained classrooms
or special education. However, when these students are assessed properly as
first, second, or third graders (the earlier, the better), with the proper
academic supports, such as certified bilingual teachers, certified English as a
Second Language (ESL), tutors, and bi-lingual para-professional aides, these
students have the highest probability of achieving long-term academic success,
graduation from high school, etc.