How to Evaluate English Language Learners Literacy Development

Report
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LITERACY
ASSESSMENT PRACTICES
FOR ALL TEACHERS OF ELLS
THAT WILL INFORM INSTRUCTION
May 19, 2011
Resource: “Assessing English-Language Learners in Mainstream Classrooms”
by Susan Davis Lenski, Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala, Mayra C. Daniel,
and Xiaoqin Sun-Irminger
Prepared by Central Intermediate Unit # 10
Consortium ESL Specialists:
Elizabeth Whitehead, Rebecca Baney, and Victoria Butch – Bellefonte Area;
Penny Diehl – Moshannon Valley; Rebecca Dugan – Curwensville Area; Crystal
Graffius – Harmony Area; Sarah Lugg – Keystone Central; Sheila Riggs –
Loyalsock Area; Jessica Ross – Clearfield Area; Jan Sawarynski – Bald Eagle
Area; Ruth Vonada – Penns Valley Area; and Raisa Gray – Centre Learning
Community Center
ESL Facilitator: Bobbie Pfingstler, Ed.D.
Central Intermediate Unit # 10
WHY IS ASSESSMENT
IMPORTANT?
• Assessment is a critical part of effective literacy
development; therefore, it is important for classroom
teachers to know how to evaluate ELL’s progress.
• The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 established
assessment mandates that all teachers must follow
and because ELLs are included in the testing and
must make Adequate Yearly Progress, quality
assessment will help determine student needs.
WHY IS ASSESSMENT
IMPORTANT? (CONTINUED)
• NCLB legislation also drives state standards.
Similar to assessing monolingual learners, teachers
must document evidence of student learning and
progress in accordance to those standards.
• Assessment of ELLS, however, is more critical and
challenging given the wide range of educational
experiences and academic backgrounds they bring
to a school.
WHY IS ASSESSMENT
IMPORTANT? (CONTINUED)
• Good assessment practices pave the way to making
instructional and evaluative decisions.
• Teachers need to consider all these educational
requirements.
• Whether ELLS are newcomers to the United States
or from Generations of heritage language speakers,
they are disadvantaged if assessment, evaluation,
and the curriculum do not make allowances for their
distinctive differences (Gay, 2001; Gitlin, Buendia,
Crossland, & Doumbia, 2003).
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR
ASSESSING STUDENTS?
Assessment practices pave the way to making
instructional decisions and evaluating.
Consider all educational stakeholders when planning
assessment of ELLs:
 Classroom Teacher
 Students themselves
 Parents
 Administrators
 Other teachers
Consider state standards or TESOL (Teachers of English to
Speakers of Other Languages) Standards PreK–12
English Language Proficiency Standards
QUESTIONS TEACHERS NEED TO
ASK WHEN ASSESSING ESL
STUDENTS
HOW CAN TEACHERS BETTER
UNDERSTAND THE
BACKGROUND OF THEIR ELL
STUDENTS?
English Language Learners come to our public
schools with vastly different backgrounds. They fall
into four categories:
1. Newly arrived students with adequate formal
schooling;
2. Newly arrived students with limited formal
schooling;
3. Students exposed to two languages simultaneously;
4. Long term English-language learners.
1. NEWLY ARRIVED WITH
ADEQUATE FORMAL SCHOOLING
2. NEWLY ARRIVED STUDENTS
WITH LIMITED FORMAL
SCHOOLING
3. STUDENTS EXPOSED TO TWO
LANGUAGES SIMULTANEOUSLY
4. LONG-TERM ENGLISHLANGUAGE LEARNERS
REASONS FOR ASSESSING ELLS
Purposes for assessment can be diverse.
•
For student placement
•
To make instructional decisions
•
For program development & evaluation
It is critical that teachers identify the purpose for assessing before choosing the
assessment instrument to be used.
Does the assessment connect to the language & content standards?
Is the assessment consistent with the teacher's instructional objectives & goals?
Teachers can use the language & content standards as the basis for what ELLs
ought to know, which in turn can provide the purposes for assessment.
USING AUTHENTIC READING
MATERIALS WHEN ASSESSING
Literacy in English, for ELLs, can be an extension of their identity both in school
and at home.

Using authentic reading materials that connect to the students' real-life
experiences affects ELLs in numerous and complex cultural, social and
personal ways;

Assessments should also be adjusted to the students English proficiency
level—if it is not comprehensible it will only measure the vocabulary that a
students does not know.

Assessments results are more useful when using purposeful communication
and authentic material.
WHAT IS A PREDICTABILITY LOG?
WHY WILL THE USE OF PREDICTABILITY
LOGS HELP TEACHERS BETTER
UNDERSTAND THE TYPES OF LITERACIES
ELLS BRING TO THE CLASSROOM?
•
A PL helps teachers better understand their students’ prior literacy
experiences and the factors that helped shape them.
•
Teachers should target questions that are most relevant for the
students’ situations.
•
Data can come from interviewing students and their parents, observing
in a classroom setting, and talking with others who know the student.
WHAT ARE THE PREDICTABILITY
LOG CATEGORIES?
PREDICTABILITY LOG
COMPONENTS
PREDICTABILITY LOG
COMPONENTS
PREDICTABILITY LOG
COMPONENTS
PREDICTABILITY LOG
COMPONENTS
PREDICTABILITY LOG
COMPONENTS
PREDICTABILITY LOG
COMPONENTS
WHY ARE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL
ASSESSMENTS IMPORTANT FOR
YOUR ELL STUDENTS?
Why use multidimensional
assessments?
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR
ASSESSING ESL STUDENTS
HURLEY AND BLAKE (2000)
RECOMMENDED SUGGESTIONS
FOR ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
PRACTICES
RECOMMENDED SUGGESTIONS
FOR ALTERNATIVE
ASSESSMENT PRACTICES
(CONTINUED)
WHY ASSESS ELL STUDENTS IN
NON-TRADITIONAL WAYS?
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES?
Assessing ELL students in nontraditional ways (Continued)
Modifying Traditional Assessments
MODIFICATIONS APPROPRIATE
FOR NEWCOMERS
MODIFICATIONS APPROPRIATE
FOR NEWCOMERS (CONTINUED)
MODIFICATIONS FOR
DEVELOPING ELL STUDENTS
USING ELL STUDENTS’ NATIVE
LANGUAGES AS AN
ASSESSMENT RESOURCE
Encouraging ELLs
Self Assessment
(CONTINUED)
COLLABORATIVE ASSESSMENT
EFFECTIVE TEACHING =
EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENTS
COLLABORATIVE ASSESSMENT
AND THE COMMUNITY
EFFECTIVE TEACHING =
EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENTS
REFERENCES
Lenski, Ehlers-Zavala, Daniel,
& Sun-Irminger X. (2006).
Assessing English-language
learners in mainstream
classrooms. The Reading
Teacher, 60 (1), 24-34.
Afflerbach, P. (2010).
Assessment. Newark, DE:
International Reading
Association.

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