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Collaboration for Multilingual Learners With Exceptionalities

Collaboration for Multilingual Learners With Exceptionalities
We Share the Students

Illustrations by Carmen Nguyen and Colleen Wilcox

July 2024 | 216 pages | Corwin

Discover models, strategies, and real-life stories to strengthen your collaborative practices.

Cooperation, coordination of services, and impactful collaboration are critical to the success of multilingual learners with exceptionalities. Written by experts in the fields of language and literacy development, equity, and special education, this practical guide emphasizes the power of partnership and inclusive pedagogy to transform educational practices for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Through six comprehensive chapters, the book offers strategies for effective co-planning, co-assessment, and co-teaching, while emphasizing the importance of cultural responsiveness and equitable classroom-based approaches for multilingual learners with exceptionalities.

Each chapter includes opening sketch notes offering a visual representation of key ideas, anchor and reflection questions, and additional resources for extended professional learning.
Other unique features include:

  • Integration of Universal Design for Learning throughout the book with adaptations for multilingual learners
  • Real-life scenarios of successful collaborative practices and innovations developed by educators of dually identified multilingual learners
  • Leadership-specific recommendations to support the success of initiatives for multilingual learners withexceptionalities
  • Essential tools and protocols to implement equitable classroom-based approaches for creating inclusive, collaborative learning environments

Both a practical guide and an urgent call-to-action, this book supports educators, districts, and communities to embrace collaboration, combine their professional expertise, and use shared voices to advocate for multilingual learners with exceptionalities.

About the Authors
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Multilingual Learners with Exceptionalities and Program Models to Serve Them
Chapter 3: Collaborative Approaches to Identification and On-Going Assessment Practices
Chapter 4: Engaging in Collaborative Planning
Chapter 5: Co-delivering Instruction for Multilingual Learners with Exceptionalities
Chapter 6: Capacity Building for Sustained Collaboration

"We Share the Students is a book with a most fitting name for any teacher with multilingual learners, however, it is especially relevant for those teachers who engage in collaborative instructional and assessment practices with multilingual learners with exceptionalities. Honigsfeld and Cohan artfully interweave the knowledge and expertise of language development and special education in their combined understanding of these students’ complex identities. By highlighting the multiple dimensions of Universal Design for Learning as a framework for creating inclusive collaborative learning environments, multilingual learners with exceptionalities add their voices to help authenticate the field where they once were silenced. This timely addition to your teacher collaboration library offers insight and inspiration for all educators who work at the intersection of these two marginalized communities."

Margo Gottlieb
Author and Consultant

"Calling us to turn away from the 'your kids, my kids' mindset that has long thwarted collaborations in schools, this much-needed book equips teachers with concrete strategies and tools to work together in supporting multilingual learners with exceptionalities."

Sara E.N. Kangas
Associate Professor, Lehigh University

"Honigsfeld and Cohan have put together a clear, concise plan that will lead to greater student outcomes for MLE’s through inclusive collaborative teaching. The idea of the three-way co-teaching builds capacity for the teachers when all are focused on designing learning experiences for MLE’s, and brings a new understanding to language deficits vs. language acquisition. The tables are digestible ways to share information to busy staff following a coaching session."

Alice Braunstein
Special Education Grades 1-6, NYCDOE, NY

"Honigsfeld and Cohan have drawn upon their considerable background knowledge to create the go-to reference book for teachers working with Multilingual Learners with exceptionalities. We Share the Students is filled with summary charts and figures, graphs, resources, ideas, suggestions, reflective questions, tools, protocols, mindful moments, and voices from the field to support each topic. The book addresses the key issues of collaborative planning, program models, collaborative approach to identification and assessment, co-delivering of instruction, and capacity building for sustained collaboration of multilingual learners with exceptionalities. A 'must-have' book!"

Linda O’Konek
Former Elementary Schools Executive Director, Norfolk Public Schools, VI

"Drs. Andrea Honigsfeld and Audrey Cohan, both experts in their respective fields, have written an important contribution to the body of knowledge of transdisciplinary collaboration by focusing on multilingual learners of English with exceptionalities. This text, Collaboration for Multilingual Learners with Exceptional Students: We Share the Students, shares practical strategies for teams of Special Educators and MLL/ELL specialists to plan using Universal Design for Learning as a foundation, communicate clearer, and share their knowledge and perspectives with one another for improvement in teaching and supporting multilingual learners of English with exceptionalities. The text incorporates storytelling in each chapter with teachers’ perspectives, voices, and insights and provides solutions and tools/protocols for different grades and contexts. There is no higher recommendation that I can give this text than to indicate, I will be using it in my teacher education classes very soon."

Kate Mastruserio Reynolds
Professor of TESOL, Central Washington University

"In a world where students with disabilities are often pressured to mask their true selves, I am so utterly grateful that this book was written. It is a significant step towards language equity and appreciating neurodivergence. Honigsfeld and Cohan provide an incredible framework for how to change the system and honor the child."

Kelly Cray
Founder, The Autist Educator

"In this spectacular book Drs. Honigsfeld and Cohan guide us toward the long-awaited answers we need to the many crucial questions we have on
ways to serve multilingual learners with exceptionalities. Their brilliant work brings clarity to the forefront so we may shift mindsets and practices
that integrate services in the most collaborative, innovative, and inclusive ways. Now, more than ever, this book provides the essential foundation we
require to elevate multilingual learners’ exceptionalities as assets within the language development processes. By using this guide, we may better offer, as the authors say, 'presence, dignity, and a most-expansive learning environment' to multilingual learners with exceptionalities through shared practices. This book is a must-have for every educator’s professional library!!

Dr. Joan Lachance
Associate Professor, Author, and Consultant. UNC Charlotte and Clover Seeds Educational Consulting

"How to best teach multilingual learners with exceptionalities is often clouded with a tug-of-war between Special Education and English Language Development. To overcome this, the number one best strategy really is collaborative practices. This book is a practical exploration of assets-based approaches to multilingual learners with exceptionalities that are inclusive of families, as well as the ecosystem of all professionals who serve these students. This is a game changer in planning for MTSS, and the pre-referral process as well as enacting culturally and linguistically responsive IEPS."

Kelly-Ann Cooney
Co-Teaching Coach, Martha's Vineyeard Schools, MA

"There are so many touch points that make this an excellent book. Kudos and congratulations to Andrea and Audrey for a fresh and innovative approach that will serve global communities!"

Majorie H. Haley, Ph.D
Professor of Education, George Mason University , VA

"The education of multilingual learners with exceptionalities requires a schoolwide approach. Honigsfeld and Cohan bring a whole new dimension to this work. Expert scholars on collaboration, they offer a strengths-based framework for bringing grade level, content, ELD, bilingual, dual language, and special educators as well as support staff, administrators, families, and local community members together. Their ground-breaking source for creating an environment for students with exceptionalities to thrive should be a staple in all our professional libraries."

Dr. Debbie Zacarian
Author and Founder, Zacarian and Associates

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ISBN: 9781071910184