What Is Meaningful Access to the General Curriculum?

The purpose of providing comprehensible input to English-language learners with learning difficulties is to ensure that they have meaningful access to the general curriculum. In essence, this means that students are entitled to instruction that deals with grade-appropriate content, concepts, and skills.

What, then, is meaningful curriculum access for an English-language learner with learning difficulties? Two examples may help to clarify the meaning of this concept.

  • If students in a particular district are learning about the weather in grade four, then English-language learners with learning difficulties in grade four should be learning the key concepts about the weather.

This may or may not mean that these students use the typical fourth-grade science text. English-language learners need to be explicitly taught how to access grade-level texts, and the materials may require adaptation to meet the students' needs. It does mean that these students receive something extra to ensure that they learn the key principles in that unit of fourth-grade science.

  • If learning about character clues and character motivation in a novel is a major district objective for grade six, then these students should be reading novels, being taught how to detect character clues, and being given opportunities to write about character clues.

The novel may be at less than sixth-grade readability, if this fits the students' current English-language reading ability. However, the novel should contain engaging characters with interesting motives and clues as to reasons for the decisions they make. In this way, the concept of character motivation is taught to these students in a way that is comprehensible to them.

Excerpted from Teaching English-Language Learners with Learning Difficulties

Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.


If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus

Highlights

Win a HueHD Prize Pack!
We’re sending you Back to School with HueHD! Join the Maker Movement with Hue’s Animation Studio, HD Pro Document Camera, and Tablet Stand. Every week in September, one lucky teacher will win the ultimate classroom and STEAM bundle. Encourage students to create, innovate, tinker, and explore! Enter Now!

2016 Presidential Elections
Election season is here. Help your students understand the process of our national elections, from the President down to local representatives, with our election activities. Read short biographies of presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R), explore mock election ideas, create presidential trading cards, learn election vocabulary, play election bingo and more!

September Calendar of Events
September is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum! Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: U.S. Constitution Week (9/17-23), International Day of Peace (9/21), Autumn Begins (9/22), and Banned Books Week (9/25-10/1). Plus, celebrate Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Classical Music Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15), Hunger Action Month, Hunger Action Month, Library Card Sign-Up Month, National Sickle Cell Month all September long!