Assessment with LINKS to videos - PRAXIS-Study

ESOL Praxis
Session IV
Praxis Test
Content Category
Number of
Percentage of
Foundations of Linguistics and
Language Learning
Planning, Implementing, and
Managing Instruction
Cultural and Professional Aspects
of the Job
Assessment Part I:
Knowledge of Tests and Standards
Objective 1: Is familiar with individual and group
literacy assessments
• State mandated tests
• Commercial tests
Objective 2: Is familiar with national requirements
regarding ESL students’ identification, assessment,
placement and exit from language-support programs
• ESL students are identified by standardized assessment
tests (in KS currently - KELPA)
• Students entering school for the first time are given a
test of language ability (KELPA-P)
• May be given a one-time, one-year deferment from
standardized tests during the first year
• Each student must be assessed annually, and will
receive services until deemed proficient
Objective 3: Is familiar with methods, both formal and
informal, to assess productive and receptive language
skills and progress
• Formal Assessment Techniques
• Informal / Alternative Assessment Techniques
Oral Interviews
Teacher Observations
Student Journals
Story or Text Retelling
Experiments and/or Demonstrations
Constructed-Response Items
• A portfolio is a collection of the student’s work
over time (report cards, creative writing,
drawing, and so on).
• Portfolios function as assessments because
– Indicate a range of competencies and skills
– Are representative of instructional goals and
academic growth
Portfolio Sharing
• Portfolio Sharing
• Allows the instructor to evaluate a student’s
progress or decline.
• Students learn techniques for self-evaluation
as teacher and student conference re a
student’s progress
Oral Interviews
• Teachers use interviews to
– evaluate the language students are using
– to evaluate a student’s ability to provide content
information when asked questions
– Evaluate student’s level of English proficiency
– Identify potential problem areas that may require
correctional strategies
• Information gathered is then used in planning
for instruction
Teacher Observations
• The teacher observes the student behavior
during an individual or group activity.
• Before beginning the activity, the instructor may
want to create a numerical scale to rate desired
• Similar to teacher observations
• Documentation takes place over a period of
time rather than as isolated observations
• Students begin to think for themselves
• Teachers provide guidance and criteria related
to success
Student Journals
• Journals function as a record of student
• Journals promote inner dialogue
Story or Text Retelling
• Students respond orally and can be assessed on
how well they describe events in the story
• Students can also be assessed on their response
to the story and their language proficiency
Experiments / Demonstrations
• Students complete an experiment or
demonstration and present it through an oral or
written report.
• Students are evaluated on their understanding of
the concept, explanation of the scientific method,
and/or their language proficiency.
Constructed-Response Items
• Students respond to writing in open-ended
• Focuses on how students apply information
rather on how much they recall of content
• In this assessment, students may create a
semantic map, write a brief comment on a
couple points made in the readings, or write
an essay discussing or evaluating the material.
Objective 4: Is able to identify, select and/or develop
assessments to determine English-language learners’
language skills
• Language has over 200 dimensions that can be
evaluated; yet most tests assess less than 12 of
them. Use with caution, and always back up with
teacher observations, interviews and other
available data.
– Language Placement Tests: Designed to place a
student within a specific program. (KELPA-P)
– Language Proficiency Tests: Measures how well
students have met certain standards in a particular
– Diagnostic Language Tests: Designed to identify
individual students’ strengths and weaknesses.
Objective 5: Is familiar with assessments that measure
English-language learners’ progress toward meeting
state and national standards
Language Achievement Tests:
• Related directly to a specific curriculum or course
of study.
• Includes language sub-skills, reading
comprehension, parts of speech, and other
mechanical parts of the language such as spelling,
punctuation and paragraphing.
• Possible examples: unit exams, final exams
Objective 6: Familiar with formal and informal
techniques that may be used to assess students’
content-area learning at varying levels of language and
literacy development
Formal Assessment Techniques:
• Used to evaluate students in content areas and in
language skills. Most states have standardized
tests that are given to all students at intervals
throughout the years.
• High stakes testing has raised the bar. Students
are tested to exit high school, for school districts
to receive state and federal funding and to grade
school performances.
One Informal Technique:
Teacher Observation / Discussion
• Alternative Assessment with Discussion Skills
Peer-Assessment Techniques:
• ELLs need to practice peer assessment with a
• Use reference card or rubrics to evaluate the
strengths and weaknesses of the assignment
(or a part of the assignment).
• After reviewing each other’s work together,
each partner corrects his or her own
Assessment Part II:
Appropriate Uses of Tests
Objective 1: Skilled at making accommodations for
students with limited English proficiency
• For ELLs, cultural and linguistic biases exist in
testing. The unfortunate result may be that
their true level is incorrectly reported.
• Possible accommodations:
– Additional time
– Bilingual dictionary
– Read specific parts to students
– Provide pronunciation and word mean help
Objective 2: Able to identify ESL students with special
education and/or gifted and talented needs and refer
those students for services
Special Education:
• Some of the characteristics of ELLs seem to be
the same characteristic as those with learning
• ELLs are over-represented in exceptional
• Students may show apparent processing
difficulties, behavioral differences, reading
difficulties, and expressive difficulties.
• Careful observation and documentation is
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
• All exceptional students must have an IEP,
which is a legally binding document for the
school and any teacher working with the
• Specific instructions for dealing with an
individual’s exceptionality should be spelled
out in the IEP.
Teaching Practices
Use multiple instruction and assessment strategies
Combine lectures with other instructional strategies
Objectives should be posted and student centered
Differentiate content, process, product, and
• Students may need to prepare for test taking because
this is a stressful activity for many ELLs. Use alternative
or modified assessments where possible
reduce number of choices on multiple choice tests
use cloze tests
give students partial outlines for essay tests
give a selection of choices for blank spaces in tests
gradually reduce the amount of scaffolding for successful
Gifted ELLs
• Characteristics:
– Successful history in previous school setting
– Advanced development history
– Rapid learning
– Solves complex problems that are not dependent
on English
– High academic performance in L1
– Successful history in environment for L1 is
Objective 3: Familiar with assessment-related issues
such as validity, reliability, language and cultural bias,
and scoring concerns.
• ELLs who are not familiar with assessment in the U.S.
may experience difficulty adjusting to the following
Standard testing techniques
Inability to ask questions of the teacher
Testing time constraints
Inability to work on a specific section of a test
• Testing accommodations need to be introduced in the
regular classroom, so that ELLs and other students are
familiar and comfortable with the accommodations
before the testing session begins.
• An assessment test can be considered valid
only if it measures what it asserts to measure.
• Predictive Empirical Validity: Concerns the
possible outcomes of test performance
• Concurrent Empirical Validity: connected with
another variable for measurement
Four Types of Bias
• Cultural Bias: concerns knowledge acquired from
participating in and sharing certain cultural values
and experiences.
• Attitudinal Bias: refers to the negative attitude of
the examiner towards a certain language, dialect,
or culture.
• Test Bias or Norming Bias: Excluding populations
used to obtain norm results.
• Translation Bias: Test is literally translated from L2
to L1 by interpreters or other means.
• An assessment can only be considered reliable
if similar scores result when the test is taken a
second time.
• Emotional or environmental factors (anxiety,
hunger, fatigue, temperature) should not
cause a huge fluctuation in the learner’s score.
• A test that proves to be both valid and reliable
may unfortunately prove to be cost- or timeprohibitive.
• The ideal assessment is one that is easy to
administer and to grade, as well as one that
includes testing items similar to ones the learners
experienced in class.
• Example: a writing journal is an excellent method
for tracking language achievement progress, but
can be difficult to grade due to subjective
Test Types
• Norm-Referenced Tests: tests in which the
results are interpreted based on the
performance of a given group, the norm.
(Grading on the curve)
• Criterion-Referenced Tests: tests in which the
individual’s test score is based on the mastery
of the course content.
Categories of Tests
• First Generation Tests: approximate the grammartranslation approach to teaching language, where
the student is asked to perform tasks. (Devoid of
context and not authentic)
• Second Generation Tests: based on discrete
points, are typically very long, and many of the
items may have no connection with each other.
(Traditional Tests)
• Third Generation Tests: Based upon the
communicative principals and by their very
nature, are authentic. (Performance-Based Tests)
Assessment Part III:
Interpreting and Applying
Assessment Results
Objective 1: Skilled at using assessment results to plan
and differentiate instruction
• Modify and differentiate instruction with all
• Only the teacher can analyze the data and set
new goals for success
• Differentiated Instruction: Teachers decide what
all students will learn about a topic, what some
students will learn, and what few students will
• Teachers use scaffolding techniques with ELLs by
helping students focus on the key parts of an
assignment. Through questioning, teachers
provide opportunities for students to verbalize
what they know (or demonstrate what they do
not know) about the task.
Objective 2: Able to use assessment results to inform a
variety of decisions (e.g., placement, advancement, exit)
• Evaluation: Different states have different tests for the evaluation
of their incoming students (in Kansas, it’s the KELPA-P)
• Classification: Based upon the results of these tests, students may
be classified as ELLs who are fully proficient in the English language
or as ELLs needing supplementary language services.
• Annual Testing: Once a student is classified as ELL, annual testing is
given to monitor the progress of the student in the English language
learning and for possible reclassification (advancement) or exiting
the program.
• Reclassification or Exiting: When students are being considered for
reclassification or to exit the program, other measures are
– Student’s performance in basic skills
– Teacher evaluations
– Parent or guardian opinion and consultation
Objective 3: Interpret and communicate the results of
assessments to English-language learners and their
• Parents must be informed of:
– AYP of their school
– School designation information
– Pertinent information concerning Title 1 parents
– Pertinent information regarding ELLs
• This information must be in the native
language when possible.
Assessment Strategies
• Elementary Strategies
• Secondary Strategies

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