The Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program is a new organization that is applying for grants in order to develop a location and curriculum whereby teachers could work with students in a Special Education setting to increase their Spanish language fluency. This program would empower English Language Learners in Special Education by teaching them a second language. Learning Spanish would increase the learners’ competency in their primary language.
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The idea for the Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program began when several certified Special Education teachers in Texas met at a conference. They began discussing different approaches to teaching special needs students that would assist them in Texas specifically. Two of the teachers had attended a seminar about teaching foreign languages to special needs students and they had been experimenting with the techniques in their regular Special Education classrooms. They found the experience to be deeply rewarding not only for the students but also for the teachers as well; both parties were empowered by the great strides made in the sessions. As a group, these teachers began offering after-school activities at the local library, which focused on teaching special needs students Spanish. The program became so popular that the waiting list was very long and many students could not be admitted due to space limitations. The idea to offer this type of teaching in a more formal environment with the ability to admit ten students at a time was conceived by the teachers as the Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program.
The Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program would service 100 Special Education students annually. It is estimated that without auxiliary programs such as this one, Special Education Students have a school dropout rate exceeding 79%. Therefore, the students will benefit greatly by this program. Additionally, learning Spanish, especially in the state of Texas, makes it much more likely that graduates of the program will be able to secure employment. Securing employment for people with special needs is a great way to empower them and literally change their lives for the better.
The Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program will empower Special Education students to improve many skills along with their Spanish language skills. Learning a second language helps people with their overall reading abilities. The program would be offer computer-based learning as well as live instruction thereby helping students improve their computer skills. Paper-based classroom activities along with the books provided will allow student to work on their Spanish language skills outside the program in their regular school classes and at home.
Goals and Objectives
The objective of the Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program is to empower Special Education students who usually have disabilities that include reading and reading comprehension as well as writing disabilities. These students will not only advance their reading and writing skills in Spanish but also will acquire training that will help them in school and in the workforce. Research and studies with special needs students has demonstrated that they benefit from learning a foreign language. The success of foreign language programs in Special Education has been overwhelming and the type of curriculum is being taught around the world.
Our main objectives:
1. Deliver to students the tools and training needed to speak and read Spanish.
2. Empower students who are at risk for dropping out of school and not obtaining gainful employment the ability to augment their education and training via a new and fresh angle.
3. Offer young special needs students a curriculum alternative that will assist them in developing a broad understanding of the value of reading and writing, while at the same time engaging them and increasing their concentration abilities.
4. Provide a peer-based learning experience whereby students engage each other in Spanish language conversations.
Because the students are in a Special Education situation, their speaking, vocabulary and reading tests will be administered on an ad hoc basis. Students will be assessed for social interaction progress, fluency, and comprehension. Additionally, their attention span will be evaluated at the end of their program.
The following budget includes the funds necessary to begin operations of the Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program.
Mission Statement and Philosophy
It is the mission of the Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program to develop Spanish language skills in our students as a means of empowering them to become working members of the community and to succeed in other educational endeavors. By preparing these students to function more fully as members of a community that values Spanish language skills the Texas-based Special Education Spanish Literacy Program will be augmenting regular school programs and socialization therapies that the students already engage in at other facilities. Our students will acquire increased skill in their primary language as well as enhancing their emotional growth via peer interaction. Special Educations needs must be met in non-traditional ways such as the Spanish language fluency program we offer.