Effective Practices for Identifying and Serving English Learners in Gifted Education: A Systematic Review of the Literature

2016 Publication of the National Center for Research on Gifted Education

Rachel U. Mun, Susan Dulong Langley, Sharon Ware, E. Jean Gubbins, Del Siegle, Carolyn M. Callahan, D. Betsy McCoach, and Rashea Hamilton

While the number of English Learners (ELs) continues to grow rapidly in the United States, corresponding proportions of ELs are not found in gifted and talented education programs across the nation. The underrepresentation of ELs in gifted programs is both a societal and a research problem. This report presents the results of a systematic review of the literature related to the most effective practices used to identify and serve ELs for gifted education services. We examined and categorized a final selection of 45 theoretical and empirical articles under four major themes: nomination, screening/assessment, services, and identification models. Implications and areas of future research are discussed.


Barriers to Underserved Students’ Participation in Gifted Programs and Possible Solutions
Journal for the Education of the Gifted
June 2016, Vol. 39, No.  2, Pages 103131

Del Siegle, E. Jean Gubbins, Patricia O’Rourke, Susan Dulong Langley, Rachel U. Mun, Sarah R. Luria, Catherine A. Little, D. Betsy McCoach, and Tawnya Knupp
University of Connecticut, Storrs,

Carolyn M. Callahan
University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Jonathan A. Plucker
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD


Gifted students’ learning gains result from complex, advanced, and meaningful content provided by a knowledgeable teacher through high-quality curriculum and instruction at an appropriate pace with scaffolding and feedback. These elements exert influence that increases with dosage and within structures that facilitate student engagement in rigorous experiences, including interactions with one another. Talent development is a two-part process. First, educators and parents must provide opportunities for talent to surface, and then they must recognize the talent and provide educational opportunities that engage the emerging talent and move it to exceptional levels. Unfortunately, a variety of barriers exist that limit underserved students’ participation in this process. We discuss these barriers within a proposed model of talent development.

 NCRGE Theory of Change


PowerPoint slides from 2017 NAGC Leadership Conference –> 2017 NAGC March Affiliates


PowerPoint slides from Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Student Education Program Project Directors’ Meeting on January 11-12, 2016 in Washington, DC