Title

Using consultation to support english learners: The experiences of bilingual school psychologists

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

3-1-2016

Abstract

Through semi-structured interviews, this study explored 11 bilingual school psychologists' (BSPs) consultation experiences with teachers of English learners (EL) to determine referral concerns, recommendations made, challenges encountered, preparation experiences, and skills most needed. The most common referral issue concerned students' academic performance and teachers' attempts to parse out language acquisition difficulties from learning problems. Principal consultation challenges included the scarcity of trained professionals, teacher bias, and the stress of competing school priorities. BSPs relied most on their interpersonal skills and relationship building skills, as well as their knowledge of EL-focused interventions and their problem identification skills. Recommendations to their monolingual school psychology colleagues included the need to actively seek out a) language and culture resources, b) relevant professional development opportunities, and c) consultations with fellow BSPs. Study limitations and implications are discussed.

Publication Title

Psychology in the Schools

Volume

53

Issue

3

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