Prospective teachers are more likely to get training about students with disabilities than about English-language learners as part of their teacher-preparation programs, a Government Accountability Office study says. That’s the case even though the ell population is one of the fastest-growing student populations in U.S. schools.
A majority of traditional teacher-training programs have at least one course that focuses solely on how to educate students with disabilities, while no more than 20 percent of such programs require at least one course that focuses entirely on how to teach English-language learners, according to the study. English-learners are more often “a partial focus of required courses” than are students with disabilities, the study says.
In addition, a larger proportion of teacher-preparation programs require field experience for prospective teachers working with students with disabilities than those who work with ELLs.
A version of this article appeared in the August 26, 2009 edition of Education Week