Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Literacy intervention for bilingual adolescent special education students is a much needed reality but rarely identified as a primary need for school districts who serve this academic population. This thesis project defines and discusses the challenges inherent in serving such a diverse population, given the many variations of dialect in Spanish-speakers, and the learning disabilities of the students. The project states that teachers need to be knowledgeable about: the linguistic background of the students, the sociocultural influences, the process of second language acquisition and the relationship of native language proficiency as it bears on the development of English skills, the effective approaches for first and second language instruction, and finally, effective strategies for working with special needs students. Each of these areas is examined alongside suggested best practices in order to create effective literacy methods for this specific population. This project incorporates an extensive literature review and chronicles several years of experience in a special education classroom juggling: the ever-changing student population, the state and district expectations for academic achievement and testing preparation, as well as creating partnerships between the teaching staff and the home. The constant thread that pulls all the disparate study findings, literature discussion, and field observations together is the discovery and creation of a classroom environment that supports literacy development for bilingual adolescents with varying special needs.


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