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Race, Ability, and Language, Intersections of

This entry examines how the U.S. educational system has addressed the intersections of race, ability, and language differences. Language differences refer to students who are learning English (the so-called English language learners, or ELLs) as well as students who speak a different dialect of English (e.g., African American English) than the dominant standard English practiced in U.S. schools. Throughout the history of the United States, ideologies about education, language, race, and ability have been closely intertwined, privileging certain cultural practices, ability statuses, and languages over others. Specifically, youth with disabilities from nondominant racial and linguistic backgrounds are among the most marginalized, experiencing a “triple jeopardy.” That is, these students' cultural and linguistic practices and ability differences do not fit into the privileged, institutionalized social and ...

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