Conceptualizing Change: A proposed Shift in Global Discourse Surrounding Disability in Language Teaching




Disabilities, learning disabilities, English learning, teaching English, inclusive education, access to education, special needs education, universal education.


Conceptualización del cambio: una propuesta de cambio en el discurso global en torno a la discapacidad en la enseñanza de idiomas

Conceptualização da mudança: uma proposta de mudança no discurso global em torno da deficiência no ensino de línguas

This editorial proposes a conceptual and instructional shift surrounding educating English learners with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world, yet in many classrooms across the world, they often lack the opportunities and support needed to be successful.  This is especially apparent in English as a second or foreign language classrooms, where students with disabilities need first to be included and then provided with structured and systematic supports to be successful.  We suggest that an initial shift in the way that we think about disability is a necessary first step.  This can then be supported by using Universal Design for Learning as a framework to reduce barriers in instruction and increase access and success for English learners.  This editorial also introduces five articles, which aim to further the discourse and understanding of how to support individuals with disabilities learning English across countries and contexts.

To reference this article (APA) / Para citar este artículo (APA) / Para citar este artigo (APA)

David, R. D. & Torres, C. (2020). Conceptualizing change: A proposed shift in global discourse surrounding disability in language teaching. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 13(1), 9-25.

Published: 28/08/2020


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Author Biographies

Rosa Dene David, Universidad de La Sabana

Rosa Dene David is an English Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures at Universidad de La Sabana. Rosa has worked in a wide variety of teaching contexts and has supported students and teachers from various language and cultural backgrounds. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Portland State University. Additionally, Rosa has a Bachelor of Arts in four areas: International Studies with an emphasis on Latin America, Political Science with a focus on American Law, Social Science that looks at Conflict Resolution and border issues, and Liberal Arts in International Economics. Rosa has served as an English Language Fellow for the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Programs in Mexico. Her research areas include supporting students with learning differences in the foreign language classroom, World Englishes, critical pedagogies, rural communities, English as an International Language, teacher and student identity, and intercultural communication.

Caroline Torres, Kapi'olani Community College

Caroline Torres is an assistant professor at Kapi‘olani Community College, teaching Second Language Teaching and TESOL classes to pre-service and in-service teachers in addition to Writing to non-native speakers of English.  She also provides professional development on supporting English learners and culturally and linguistically diverse students to K-12 teachers. She has worked in schools across the Hawaiian islands and in Japan.  Her research interests include culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students, including ELLs and CLD students with disabilities, Universal Design for Learning, Evidence-Based Practices, grit and growth mindset, and writing instruction, including Self-regulated Strategy Development. 


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How to Cite

David, R. D., & Torres, C. (2020). Conceptualizing Change: A proposed Shift in Global Discourse Surrounding Disability in Language Teaching. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 13(1).

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