Culturally Responsive Evidence-based Practices with English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities: A Qualitative Case Study


  • Michael J. Orosco University of Kansas
  • Naheed A. Abdulrahim University of Kansas


bilingual special education, culturally responsive teaching, evidence-based practices, English Language Learners, learning disabilities, case study, Common Core standards, educación especial bilingüe, la enseñanza culturalmente sensible, prácticas basadas



This study describes the instruction of one special education teacher with English Language Learners (ELLs) with learning disabilities in an urban elementary school setting. This study was situated in a culturally responsive, evidence-based teaching framework. In investigating this instruction with ELLs, this study focused on how one teacher’s knowledge of culturally responsive pedagogy and evidence-based practices impacted her special education instruction. Findings resulted in three major themes that were aligned with the literature in this area: The Garment of Diversity, Culture Matters in Special Education, and Their Collaborative Spirit. The results indicated that the success of special education with ELLs at the elementary education level may be dependent on how well the teacher integrates culturally responsive and evidence-based instruction with ELLs’ sociocultural needs.


Este estudio describe la enseñanza de una maestra de educación especial y sus aprendientes de inglés (ELLs) con discapacidades de aprendizaje en una primaria urbana. Este estudio se situó en un marco de enseñanza culturalmente relevante y basada en la evidencia. Al investigar la instrucción de la maestra con ELLs, este estudio se enfocó en cómo su conocimiento de pedagogía culturalmente sensible y de las prácticas basadas en la evidencia impactaron su instrucción de educación especial. Los resultados dieron lugar a tres temas principales que se alinearon con la literatura en este campo: La Túnica de la Diversidad, La Cultura Importa en la Educación Especial, y Su Espíritu Colaborativo. Los resultados indicaron que el éxito de la educación especial con ELLs en el nivel de primaria puede depender de cuán bien el maestro integre la instrucción culturalmente sensible y basada en la evidencia con las necesidades socioculturales de ELLs. 


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