What is a Dual Label Student?

Instructor: Heather Turner

Heather has taught for 10 years as a lead special education teacher and Educational Diagnostician for a district. She has a doctorate in Curriculum Studies.

This lesson discusses the educational labels of Students with Disabilities, English Language Learners, and Gifted/Gifted and Talented Education. Learn about how students could be categorized with two labels and how teachers accommodate these students.

Educational Labels

Have you ever organized a messy closet by labeling different items? The purpose of this act is to increase efficacy and overall performance of the space. The same is true in education.

Students can receive different types of labels in the educational setting. These are used to categorize students and understand their needs. Discussion exists on the purpose and overall success of labeling; however, it does allow teachers to consider student needs as a collective group. Labeling students is also important for funding of schools.

Types of Labels

Below is a list of student labels that are often used in educational settings:

Students with Disabilities (SWD): This refers to students who are identified as having a disability that negatively impacts their education. A committee has determined that these students meet criteria as having a disability in the school setting, and an educational plan to address the needs of each student is on file. Typically, these students receive special education services.

English Language Learners (ELL): This refers to students whose primary language is not English. The term English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) may also be used.

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