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Special Education Assessment Process for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Students - 2015 Revision

The goal of the Special Education Assessment Process for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students 2015 Revision is to provide content relevant to the challenge of deciding when academic learning difficulties are influenced by second language acquisition, the acculturation process, inappropriate instruction, or a disabling condition as well as providing culturally responsive instructional and assessment considerations. It is our intention and hope that the guidelines and tools presented in this document, which have been assembled from a variety of sources, will prove useful in reaching this goal.

Special Education Assessment Process for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Students - 2007 Revision


The Importance of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Assessments

Distinguishing between a difference and a disorder among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students is a complex process even for the experienced bilingual assessment professional. Practitioners making such distinction need to have a strong understanding of the interplay between a student's acculturation level, language proficiency, cognitive and academic performance.

Things to consider:

  • The significant cognitive and academic development differences observed in bilingual/bicultural and monolingual/monocultural students.
  • Factors such as inappropriate instruction, acculturation, second language acquisition, socioeconomic and experiential background, are not the primary source of the performance deficit in question.
  • That bias may occur at all levels of the evaluation process.
  • Determine if school personnel are culturally responsive professionals.


Read more about assessments for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students.


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