Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Accommodations, Adaptations & Modifications

Some definitions that might help you as you consider what you can do for ELL students:

Accommodations are supports and services that help students be successful. Accommodations for ELL students might include:
  • supplemental materials (i.e., diagrams, illustrations, charts, definitions, articles in L1)
  • tutors, advocates, after-school programs, translators
  • pull-out programs / sheltered programs / ELL study halls
  • equipment (i.e. hearing aid, wheel chairs)

Adaptations are instructional tools and approaches that bolster a student's ability to learn or demonstrate learning. Adaptations for ELL students might include:
  • using a bilingual dictionary during tests
  • using audio recorders or word processors
  • adapted texts / materials (i.e., materials written in simplified language) or translated texts
  • modified assessment procedures / materials (i.e., directions written in L1)
  • notes / materials (i.e., pre-teach vocabulary, concepts, background)
  • Consultation with teachers, family, agencies, and other advocates (i.e., ESL teacher, conferences with family and translators)
Modifications are significant changes that are made to the content so that a student may be successful
  • reducing objectives
  • reducing content, process, and product
  • alternative texts and tests (The key here is that the content is different, not the way it is presented.)
  • assistance for majority of learning
Susan Fitzell, a special education teacher and educational consultant, makes the distinction that modifications are significant changes (> 33 percent) to the content of a class / curriculum. Fitzell has resources available to teachers on her website. Of interest to teachers of ELL students are:

Grading in the Diverse Classroom: What's Fair?
Grading Special Needs Students In The General Classroom

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