In my research on ELs with disabilities, I primarily use ethnography and discourse analysis to investigate the educational conditions of these learners. In particular, I pay close attention to the policies and beliefs that influence the ways in which schools address these learners' needs that stem from their language background and disability.
My purpose in doing this research is grounded in social justice and educational ethics. It is estimated that 13.8% of ELs have identified disabilities (National Center for Education Statistics, 2017). Yet, when it comes to ELs with disabilities, we have more questions than answers, and as a consequence, unexamined educational practices for these learners prevail. Simply, although these learners are arguably the one of the most vulnerable populations in American schools, we have few established best practices.
This is where my research comes in. One of my foremost goals as a researcher is to begin developing a framework of best practices for ELs with disabilities. But, first we need to know the challenges that exist both for these learners and the schools that educate them. This is currently where I find myself in research.