Initiating the Third Wave for English Learners: Teaching Self-Advocacy
Keywords:advocacy, self-advocacy, English learners, K–12 education, equity
In special education, self-advocacy intertwines with self-empowerment. Special education teachers integrate self-advocacy skills into the curriculum to support their students’ efforts toward self-determination. In contrast, teachers of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) are encouraged to advocate for their English learners but self-advocacy has received scant attention in the ESOL field. As the English learner population in K–12 public schools steadily rises, it is increasingly urgent for ESOL educators to seek culturally responsive solutions that support their students’ language, academic, and socio-emotional development. With a brief review of literature from the fields of special education and Disabilities studies, authors delineate components of self-advocacy and apply them to a self-advocacy unit that supports English learners in acquiring the knowledge and language they need to develop their own form of self-advocacy.
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