Devise a research-linked plan for how one can address a specific issue that relates to the education of diverse learners that includes instructional strategies for special needs students in the classroom and strategies relating to RTI. Include two research articles.

One important instructional issue is developing reading comprehension in English Language Learners. Two strategies one might be able to use are providing word or picture association handouts for vocabulary and checking students' comprehension frequently by having them sequence the events they just read about. Whatever strategies used, it is important to provide a variety of visuals and tactile activities to keep students engaged and to connect what they are learning to prior knowledge.

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The plan you submit will have to be your own, but I can provide some strategies to guide your thinking and link some credible sources. The issue I have chosen as an example is development of reading comprehension skills in English Language Learners in grades 9–12, but similar strategies could also be used for lower grade levels.

English Language Learners face several challenges when it comes to developing as confident readers. Learning to read and understand texts in a second language is difficult enough, but these challenges are compounded at the high school level, where vocabulary, text complexity, and thematic content may be more difficult than in the texts studied at other grade levels. Students' neural pathways for language development also weaken as they get older. However, with careful support from a dedicated teacher, English Language Learners at any level can be empowered as competent readers.

One strategy for literacy development in ELLs of this age group is the careful pairing of text and image. Students may be unfamiliar with a new vocabulary word, but they will likely be familiar with the concept it represents. Providing an image of a new vocabulary word will help students make the association between the two. For example, if your students are reading Romeo and Juliet, you may review a handout with unfamiliar vocabulary before reading each scene. The handout might include a word, a picture, and a place for students to write the word in their own language. This gives students some context for ideas students will encounter in the scene, and they can refer back to the handout as needed as their vocabulary grows. It is important to break down the text into smaller parts so that students do not become overwhelmed by too much new content.

Checking comprehension frequently is also important. One way this can be done is to determine whether students can recall the events in a text as well as the order they occur in. Going back to the Romeo and Juliet example, you might print out strips of paper with short sentences describing what happens in the scene you have just read. Students can work together to put events in the proper order. Once you have established this baseline of comprehension, it is important to ask students higher-order questions about what they have just read. These questions could include things like "Do you agree with what this character said/did? What would you have done? How do you think this character felt when [x event] happened? Can you support your answer with evidence from the text?"

The links I have included are more informal sources that describe strategies for working with ELL students.

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