Bilingual and special educational needs in inclusive classrooms: Some critical and pedagogical considerations
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In the light of educational reforms aimed at promoting greater inclusive policies and practices, it is important to put a more pronounced emphasis on the needs of English language learners (ELLs) with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Simultaneously, a focus should also be placed on understanding and dealing with the disproportional representation of English language learners in special education categories. This dual and arguably sometimes mutually reinforcing phenomenon, along with its potential implications for education policy and practice, needs to be discussed against a convergent analytical framework drawn from bilingual and special education. The cross-fertilisation of these disciplinary fields can provide a multimodal and comprehensive approach to meeting the intersectional needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students with special educational needs. To this end, it is important that issues of culture and language should become indispensable aspects of the special education knowledge base in inclusive classrooms.