Invite, Encourage, and Seek Out: Identifying Discourses About …

Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development

Campus/Building Maps

Invite, Encourage, and Seek Out: Identifying Discourses About Gifted English Learners for Equitable IdentificationSusan Dulong Langley

Monday, May 20, 2024, 1:45 – 3:15 pm, Lawrence D. McHugh Hall, Room MCHU 202

With English Learners (ELs) emerging as the fastest growing population of learners in the United States, it is of concern that EL representation in gifted and talented education continues to lag behind both traditional and other underserved populations of learners. Therefore, underidentification of gifted ELs constitutes a problem. Because “all gifted is local” gifted identification is typically determined at the state level, this informs what is expected of school districts. One state that has identified commensurate numbers of gifted ELs is Colorado. Colorado has a definition, regulations, and guidelines that include gifted ELs, with districts required to address gifted ELs through program plans. Specific references to and requirements for identifying gifted ELs in Colorado’s state and district documents provide opportunities to examine authors’ representations of gifted ELs in documents. Critical Discourse Analysis of these documents revealed four identity-forming discourses of gifted ELs. Findings revealed gifted EL identities as formed by Colorado’s (a) definitions and designations, (b) accountability, (c) identification processes and procedures, and (d) stakeholder interactions. These four discourses are a view of gifted ELs as an underrepresented population of diverse learners who benefit from targeted identification processes and procedures enacted through stakeholder interactions and accountability.