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RTI for English Learners Article Review

Shenikah Grandison

Post University

Dr. Mary Mills

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RTI for English Learners Article Review

This paper will discuss use of Response to Intervention (RTI) on ELL students and how it

can support the choices one makes about instruction using the process. First I will discuss what I

learned about ELL students that I had not considered before. Next, how progress monitoring of

ELLs does help inform and support the choices one makes about instruction using the RTI

process. I will compare and contrast RTI to my most relative experience with RTI. Last I will

discuss how the process might work with an ELL from what has been learned thus far.

There are a few things that I learned from this article that I did not consider about ELLs

before. All of this I have learned pervious to understanding screening and progress monitoring.

The second language continuum has five stages. All stages denote a progress level of language

acquisition. What was interesting about the process was that it is estimated to take about 6 years

or more to progress through all five stages (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011). Another

interesting point was use of terminology. Funds of knowledge was used to define ELL students

who come to class with oral storytelling, cultural traditions, practices and spiritual beliefs

(Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011). The last point that I found interesting in this article is using

true peers as a measurement of language proficiency progress with I will go into depth further in

the paper (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011). Although the article was interesting overall, these

particular points are what caught my attention.

By definition RTI combines student assessment and evidence based instructional

interventions within a multilevel prevention framework in order to maximize student

achievement and reduce behavioral issues (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011). The RTI is

designed to be an early intervention process to prevent long-term academic failure and to assist

children adapt to the general education classroom (Appelbaum, 2009). I do not have any
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experience with RTI, however, I have an experience that would qualify to compare it to. When I

was teaching abroad, instructors did not use the RTI method. The remedy for a student who was

not absorbing the language would simply be to continue to memorize the material. Instructors

used positive or negative reinforcement as well. They did not create or give assessments to

determine at what level of proficiency a student was placed. When I walked into class, each

student had a different level of proficiency. The purpose of the RTI method is meet the student

where they are in the learning process and focus on their needs to reach the next level. In this

case the instructors could have used a simple game or test to identify the students having the

most trouble. When these students are identified, instructors could apply different methods and

inform the curriculum so that student can grow. For instance students can apply for tutoring

from an instructor or given extra material to assist with comprehension.

Progress monitoring of ELL help inform and support choices made for instruction. In

order to make informative decisions about a student's growth progress and movement across

level, one must have a clear understanding of how RTI is applied. There are four essential

components to RTI:

- Using screening and informative assessment data to identify student learning

outcomes (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011).

- Monitoring the effectiveness of instruction (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011).

- Implementing a multi-level base instruction that is matched two students

instruction on the end (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011).

- Data-based decision-making for instruction movement within the multi-level

system and disability identification (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011).

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Screening measure used to identify ELL students is not a specific assessment but many

can be used to assessment proficiency on the continuum. The screening process would be

completed in two stages, be brief and would be done with a specific student or a group of

students in each grade level. The second stage it to apply the unique process of progress

monitoring. Progress monitoring would be applied later to add more in-depth testing or short-

term progress monitoring to make sure students needs for additional instructional support are

being met. Progress monitoring occurs at least monthly and is used to assess students academic

performance over time to quantify student rates of improvement or responsiveness to instruction

and to evaluate instructional effectiveness (Esparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011). Progress

monitoring assists to inform the instructor to make the right choices for instruction. The

instructor can focus on what the student needs instead of spending time on curriculum's and

lessons students do not understand. In essence the instructor is working on the hard parts

(Perkins, 2009). By working on the hard parts, students receiving the needed instruction will

eventually meet goal.

There are a few concerns regarding progress monitoring. The first concern is that of the

base knowledge that a learner comes in with. It is possible that those who speak more at home

are more likely pick up language quicker than their peers (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011).

There are outside factors that contribute to proficiency. One cannot simply monitor the English

language learner, they must also monitor their progress in other languages. Another

consideration is when monitoring, instructors need to focus on all students but specifically

students who have or are slower-than-expected. And the final consideration is of true peers who

they will use as a comparison against their own proficiency. The concept behind the true peer is
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that a student's instruction should be intensified for that student if a group with a similar

background to progressing and their not (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011).

I have not experienced the RTI process however I believe this process will work with

English language Learners from what I have learned. I have learned that essentially the RIT

method is two tools to ensure that English language Learners are meeting required goals. The

first is screening or using assessments, particularly, assessments are needed to find all

proficiency levels. English language learners are students who have previous knowledge.

Instructors are cannot take advantage of the fact that their insufficient English proficiency is

equivalent to ignorance of the language. By providing assessments we will be able to understand

what each student needs. In addition to screening and assessment there is progress monitoring.

Progress monitoring revisits each student's or each group's instructional need. However, this

monitoring does not simply ask what the student needs. To monitor a student's progress

successfully one must:

- monitor student progress in all languages of instruction (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford,


- schools that support student grade level standards (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011)

- increase intensity of instruction gross is less than expected (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford,


- evaluate growth is compared to that of their peers (Ezparza-Brown and Sanford, 2011)

In summary I personally do not have any experience with the RTI method. But by

reviewing this article it can be said that this is an excellent way to ensure that ones English

language learners are progressing and growing. It is not enough to assess an English language

Learners proficiency but consistent monitoring in their progress as essential. Progress

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monitoring to instruct the curriculum or lesson. It is dependent on other factors: other language

proficiency, true peers, overall growth and intensity. Reading this article I would have to admit

that I would definitely use this tool to ensure the success of all my students
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Appelbaum, M. (2009) The one-stop guide to implementing rti: Academic and behavioral
interventions, K-12. Thousand Oaks, CA; Corwin.

Esparza-Brown, J.; Sanford, A. (2011). RTI for English language learners: Considerations in
screening and progress monitoring.

Perkins, D.N. (2009) Making learning whole: How seven principles of teaching can transform
education. California: Jossey-Bass. Edition 1