The intersections of language differences and learning disabilities: Narratives in action

Taucia Gonzalez, Adai Tefera, Alfredo Artiles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this chapter is to provide a critical synthesis of the literature on the intersections of language differences and learning disabilities (LD 1) using a sociocultural approach. Researchers have traditionally ignored the complex intertwining of these markers of differences. For this reason, we focus in this chapter on the growing population of emergent bilinguals 2 with LDs. We argue this population occupies a liminal space between language and ability differences, which is consequential because institutional practices can thrust emergent bilinguals into odd positions, sometimes stressing their language traits or needs; at other times, highlighting their disabilities. Emergent evidence suggests that living in this in-between space can sometimes limit these learners’ educational opportunities or create dilemmas, challenges, and/or puzzles for the research, practice, and policy communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Educational Linguistics
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781317754466
ISBN (Print)9780415531306
StatePublished - Aug 13 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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