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GT-English as a Second Language (updated March 2003)

How can teachers can nurture giftedness in children whose first language is not English and who are limited in their English proficiency?

For several decades educators have expressed frustration about their inability to nurture the high abilities of some students with limited English proficiency. Some of the barriers faced by the children when they first enter school are (Frasier, 1995):

  • An environment that is dissimilar to any of their experiences
  • A disconnection between home and life outside the home
  • A curriculum that seems irrelevant to their lives
  • Instruction that is often irrelevant to their needs
  • A sense of alienation
  • An assumption that because they are limited in English proficiency, they are less able.
These children feel alienated, and often get lost in remedial programs. Hispanics in particular tend to leave school prematurely.

A monograph published recently by the U.S. Department of Education and other research studies offer some suggestions as a starting point. They include, but are not limited to:

  • An expanded view of intelligence and giftedness, such as those espoused by Howard Gardner, Robert Sternberg, and Joseph Renzulli, that results in multipronged identification that includes test scores, teacher recommendations, student portfolios, and consideration of special variables such as language, socioeconomic background, and culture
  • Acceptance that students of high ability might also be limited in English proficiency or come from poverty backgrounds
  • A strong parent program and the consistent involvement of parents
  • A commitment to the long-term benefit of redesigning gifted education to include and meet the needs of LEP students
  • Collaboration across programs; a willingness to negotiate and entertain different points of view
  • Willingness to build on strengths and program maturity
  • Establishment of a clear and coherent vision of inclusive gifted education
  • An action plan with realistic timelines
  • Adequate teacher training and inservice, including training in identification procedures for bilingual education teachers.
    From Talent and Diversity: The Emerging World of Limited English Proficient Students in Gifted Education. 1998. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. Available from: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/TalentandDiversity/.
    School Reform and Student Diversity - Volume I: Findings and Conclusions. Sept. 1995. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. Available from: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/SER/Diversity/title.html.

Following are links to related ERIC Digests, Internet resources, and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used



English (second language) OR limited English speaking OR bilingual OR language minorities OR English language learners

EJ655616 EC631198
Maximizing Achievement for Potentially Gifted and Talented and Regular Students in a Primary Classroom.
Uresti, Ronda; Goertz, Jeanie; Bernal, Ernesto M.
Roeper Review; v25 n1 p27-31 Fall 2002
Publication Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); RESEARCH REPORT (143)
Language: English
ERIC Issue: CIJMAR2003
A teacher used selected parts of the Autonomous Learner Model with 24 Hispanic first-graders, half of whom were English-language learners, to promote the educational progress of all of the children and find potentially gifted children. Students quickly learned independence, responsibility, resourcefulness, and higher order thinking skills. Several gifted students emerged. (Contains references.) (Author/CR)
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; *Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; *Hispanic Americans; *Limited English Speaking; Elementary Education; Enrichment Activities; Instructional Effectiveness; Minority Group Children; Personal Autonomy; Student Responsibility; Thinking Skills

ED406125 RC021026
A Model Program for Identifying Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Rural Gifted and Talented Students.
De Leon, Jozi; Argus-Calvo, Beverley
Mar 1997
8p.; In: Promoting Progress in Times of Change: Rural Communities Leading the Way; see RC 020 986.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; New Mexico
Journal Announcement: RIEAUG97
Identification of gifted students among cultural and linguistic minority groups and development of culturally relevant gifted programs have been problematic. In addition, although giftedness can manifest itself in many ways, few gifted programs have been established in nonacademic areas, especially in rural settings. This paper focuses on the identification procedures of a culturally relevant, visual arts, gifted and talented program in two rural New Mexico elementary schools with predominantly Hispanic or Native American (Pueblo) populations. Education in the arts not only is intrinsically valuable but also supports student persistence and achievement. Nevertheless, the limited resources of rural schools may lead to elimination of arts programs. Identification of exceptional abilities in the arts can be just as problematic as in academic areas if it relies on standardized tests. Although in the majority in the two program schools, Hispanic and Native American students were the minority in gifted and talented programs. A multidimensional approach to identification was developed that included the following: nomination by teacher, parent, or self; participation in an art show; teacher assessment on a checklist and a rating scale; assessment by a community artist; portfolio assessment; and student evaluation on two formal tests. Interviews with members of the identification committee indicate that the most effective selection method was the cross-referencing of the community artist's recommendations with those of teachers and students and results of the art show.
Descriptors: American Indian Education; *Art Education; *Culturally Relevant Education; Elementary Education; *Gifted; Hispanic Americans; *Minority Groups; Pueblo (People); *Rural Education; Rural Youth; Special Education; *Talent Identification; Visual Arts
Identifiers: *Alternative Assessment

EJ521551 EC613340
Developing Local Multidimensional Screening Procedures for Identifying Giftedness among Mexican American Border Population.
Reyes, Elba I.; And Others
Roeper Review, v18 n3 p208-11 Feb-Mar 1996
ISSN: 0278-3193
Available From: UMI
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAUG96
This article reports on a project responding to the need for culturally relevant alternatives to existing assessment practices in the identification of giftedness among rural Mexican Americans in the southwestern United States. Students identified using multidimensional and holistic procedures showed similar cognitive and performance profiles to those identified using traditional methods.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; Cultural Differences; *Cultural Relevance; Elementary Education; *Gifted; Holistic Approach; Mexican American Education; *Mexican Americans; Minority Group Children; *Screening Tests; Student Evaluation

ED408847 FL024605
Handbook on Planning for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Student Success.
Colorado State Dept. of Education, Denver. Mar 1997
EDRS Price - MF01/PC06 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Colorado
Journal Announcement: RIENOV97
Government: State
Target Audience: Administrators; Practitioners; Teachers
The handbook is designed to help Colorado school systems address the linguistic and educational needs of limited-English-proficient (LEP) students and to provide administrators, school boards members, and educators with resources for understanding state and federal requirements. It is intended to help design and establish local policies and practices, design and implement instructional programs, support teacher and staff professional development, maintain sound coordination and communication practices, and evaluate their efforts to educate LEP students. Chapters: define key terms and acronyms and offer a historical perspective on issues leading to the handbook's development; outline legal and judicial mandates concerning the education of LEP students; discuss mandates with a direct bearing on assuring equity and educational opportunity; discuss development of instructional strategies to meet LEP students' linguistic needs; suggest processes for LEP student identification, assessment, service delivery, placement review, and reclassification/exit; discuss instructional strategies and methods for content-area and bilingual/English-as-a- Second-Language (ESL) teachers; examine staff development at all levels and teacher certification issues; offer ideas on coordination with federal programs, state initiatives, and local resources; and outline program evaluation procedures. Resource information is appended.
Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Accreditation (Institutions); *Compliance (Legal); Educational Planning; Elementary Secondary Education; *English (Second Language); Federal Regulation; Gifted; Inservice Teacher Education; Language Role; Legal Problems; *Limited English Speaking; Native Language Instruction; Organizational Communication; Professional Development; Program Administration; *Program Implementation; School Districts; School Responsibility; Second Language Instruction; Special Education; State Regulation; Statewide Planning; Teaching Methods
Identifiers: *Colorado

ED402707 EC305215
Educators' Perceptions of Barriers to the Identification of Gifted Children from Economically Disadvantaged and Limited English Proficient Backgrounds.
Frasier, Mary M.; And Others
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT. Sep 1995
44p. Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC., Contract No: R206R00001
Report No: RM-95216
Available From: NRC/GT, University of Connecticut, 362 Fairfield Road, U-7, Storrs, CT 06269-2007.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Connecticut
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY97
This report presents results from a 10-item survey of 750 educators from 14 school sites, designed to gain insights into the perceptions educators hold regarding the problems of identifying gifted children from economically disadvantaged and limited English proficient backgrounds. Results indicated thatmajor barriers to identification were test bias and teachers' inability to recognize indicators of potential in certaingroups. Five other issues were identified as moderate barriers: students' use of nonstandard English and/orlimited proficiency in the English language; differences in language experiences; parents not providing astimulating home environment; use of narrow screening/selection processes; and teachers' prejudicial attitudes.Three issues were identified as minor barriers: beliefs that intellectual giftedness is not valued by certain groups; teachers' fears about program quality diminishing when minority and economically disadvantaged students participated; and beliefs about the limited number of gifted children who come from economically disadvantaged and limited English proficient backgrounds. The implications of these results for designing staffdevelopment programs are discussed. Appendices include the evaluation instrument used to measure educators' attitudes, descriptions of the pilot sites, and descriptions of the national field test study sites.
Descriptors: Ability Identification; Economically Disadvantaged; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; Gifted Disadvantaged; Inservice Teacher Education; Language Minorities; Limited English Speaking; Professional Development; Student Evaluation; Teacher Attitudes; Test Bias.

ED388024 EC304379
A Review of Assessment Issues in Gifted Education and Their Implications for Identifying Gifted Minority Students. Research Monograph 95204.
Frasier, Mary M.; And Others
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT. Feb 1995
46p.; Executive Summary on p.vii-xiii also published separately.
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. Contract No: R206R00001
Available From: NRC/GT, University of Connecticut, 362 Fairfield Road, U-7, Storrs, CT 06269-2007.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Connecticut
Journal Announcement: RIEMAR96
This review of research and literature examines issues related to the identification of potentially gifted students from groups most likely to be underrepresented in gifted education programs, including racial and ethnic minority groups, economically disadvantaged students, and those with limited English proficiency. Three major reasons for underrepresentation are identified and discussed: (1) test bias (the most frequent attribution for underrepresentation in programs); (2) selective referrals (usually because of teacher attitudes and knowledge about minority students and the type of school students are likely to attend); and (3) reliance on deficit-based paradigms (making recognition of the strengths of minority children less likely). Recommendations for modifying traditional assessment procedures include the use of multiple criteria and nontraditional measures and procedures and modification of selection criteria. Four aspects of assessment are discussed: the construct of giftedness, the referral process, the identification process, and the process by which decisions are made using assessment information for curriculum and instructional planning.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; Economically Disadvantaged; Elementary Secondary Education; Ethnic Groups; *Evaluation Methods; *Gifted; Limited English Speaking; *Minority Groups; Referral; *Student Evaluation; Teacher Attitudes; Test Bias
Identifiers: *Disproportionate Representation (Spec Educ)

ED402710 EC305218
A New Window for Looking at Gifted Children.
Frasier, Mary M.; And Others
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT. Sep 1995
88p.; Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC., Contract No: GR206R00001; Report No: RM-95222
Available From: NRC/GT, University of Connecticut, 362 Fairfield Road, U-7, Storrs, CT 06269-2007.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC04 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Connecticut
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY97
Target Audience: Practitioners
This guidebook provides the basic information needed for inservice training in techniques for observing gifted characteristics in children from diverse population groups including economically disadvantaged and students with limited English proficiency. The training program is based on a specific Staff Development Model (SDM) and a Research-based Assessment Plan (RAP). Among seven assumptions of the SDM and RAP are the necessity of identifying giftedness through the observation of Traits, Aptitudes, and Behaviors (TABs) characteristic of gifted individuals and the importance of having TABs underlie measures used in evaluating students and designing programs and curricula. Part 1 presents a comprehensive overview of the SDM and the RAP, including their history, components, and necessary personnel. Part 2 provides specific implementation instructions ranging from such pre-planning steps as establishing necessary committees to determining a target population, and administering and interpreting the Frasier Talent Assessment Profile. Part 3 offers 16 resource sheets to help in program development, implementation, and evaluation. Part 4 includes master copies for transparencies and handouts. An appendix provides a bibliography of tests, rating scales, products, and process measures.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; *Classroom Observation Techniques; Curriculum Development; Economically Disadvantaged; Evaluation Methods; *Gifted Disadvantaged; Inservice Teacher Education; *Limited English Speaking; Program Development; Program Implementation; Staff Development; *Student Characteristics; Student Evaluation; Teaching Models

ED402703 EC305211
Core Attributes of Giftedness: A Foundation for Recognizing the Gifted Potential of Minority and Economically Disadvantaged Students.
Frasier, Mary M.; And Others
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT. Sep 1995
53p.; Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. Contract No: R206R00001; Report No: RM-95210
Available From: NRC/GT, University of Connecticut, 362 Fairfield Road, U-7, Storrs, CT 06269-2007.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC03 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Connecticut
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY97
This report explores the characteristics of giftedness in minority, language minority, and economically disadvantaged student populations and ways to assess giftedness in these populations. A qualitative content analysis is used to analyze gifted literature to determine characteristics of gifted children in general (n=262) and characteristics of gifted children from specific cultural groups (n=95), including African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics. Ten core attributes of giftedness are identified: communication skills, imagination/creativity, humor, inquiry, insight, interests, memory, motivation, problem-solving, and reasoning. A general description accompanies each identified attribute. Implications are discussed for using these core attributes to facilitate educators' recognition of gifted abilities in student populations from minority or economically disadvantaged families and areas, and to guide educators in the selection of measures for identification of minority or economically disadvantaged families and areas. Recommendations for educators include the use of a variety of evaluation measures to assess giftedness and the use of standards to interpret performance on tests that accommodate the differences in the expression of gifted students from diverse backgrounds. An appendix includes a list of categories of giftedness and relevant checklist indicators for the different categories.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; American Indians; Black Students; *Economically Disadvantaged; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; *Gifted Disadvantaged; Hispanic Americans; Language Minorities; *Minority Groups; *Student Characteristics; *Student Evaluation
Identifiers: African Americans; Hispanic American Students; Native Americans

EJ505038 EC611217
Language Diversity and Giftedness: Working with Gifted English Language Learners.
Kitano, Margie K.; Espinosa, Ruben
Journal for the Education of the Gifted, v18 n3 p234-54 Spr 1995
ISSN: 0162-3532
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJOCT95
This article summarizes the literature and suggests future directions concerning the education of gifted students with primary languages other than English. It addresses student characteristics, appropriate procedures for identification, service delivery, instructional methods, and community involvement.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; *Delivery Systems; Elementary Secondary Education; *English (Second Language); *Gifted; *Limited English Speaking; Program Development; School Community Relationship; Student Characteristics; Talent Identification; Teaching Methods

EJ502878 EA530514
Serving the Underserved: Giftedness among Ethnic Minority and Disadvantaged.
McIntosh, Stephanie
School Administrator, v52 n4 p25-29 Apr 1995
ISSN: 0036-6439
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJSEP95
Properly serving the needs of ethnic minority and economically disadvantaged gifted youth requires early identification, enrichment programs, parental involvement, and specialized teacher training. Primary teachers must be able to identify children exhibiting gifted behaviors not showing up in testing. Profiles San Diego and New Jersey programs and outlines signs of giftedness.
Descriptors: *Cultural Differences; Elementary Education; *Gifted Disadvantaged; *Intervention; *Limited English Speaking; *Minority Groups; Parent Participation; Preschool Education; *Special Needs Students Identifiers: California (San Diego); *Language Barriers; New Jersey (Newark)

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