Model Demonstration Coordination Center

Cohort 5 Model Demonstration Projects

The University of Texas at Austin

Establishing Successful Tiered Responsive Education for English Language Learners’ Achievement (ESTRE2LLA)

Identifying English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities is challenging for educators because of the difficulty in determining whether a student’s academic difficulty is due to such factors as linguistic or cultural differences or lack of appropriate instruction or to the presence of a disability. A response to intervention model that is inclusive of the sociopolitical, cultural, and linguistic factors that influence the education of ELLs and that provides a multitiered framework for responsive native language and English as a second language instruction could increase the accuracy of identification of ELLs with disabilities. It could also improve the reading achievement and language development of ELLs with or at risk of having a disability.

The purpose of the ESTRE2LLA project is to adapt, refine, and evaluate a multitiered instructional framework in three K–3 elementary schools with a large ELL population to determine whether and to what extent these outcomes are achieved.

Project ESTRE2LLA has the following core components:

Culturally relevant principles applied to both school environment and instruction

Differentiated, high-quality, research-based language and literacy instruction and interventions in both Spanish and English

Appropriate screening, assessment, and progress monitoring systems

An individualized problem-solving approach to plan instruction that focuses on understanding both external and within-child factors that affect the student’s opportunity to learn

An intensive and ongoing professional development and technical assistance plan for administrators and teachers

Collaborative relationships with families to elicit valuable information from parents to understand the interaction between home and school.

A formative and summative evaluation process to describe the unique characteristics of the school, the cultural and linguistic diversity of the students, student outcomes, and teachers’ professional growth.

Contact Information

Alba Ortiz, Ph.D.
Project Co-Director
University of Texas at Austin


Sylvia Linan-Thompson, Ph.D.
Project Co-Director
University of Texas at Austin

Back to Cohort 5
Office of Special Education Programs, SRI International, copyright 2015 SRI International