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English Language Learners: Assessment Issues

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... of language learning difficulties as a disability ( monolingual perspective) ... False interpretation of ELL behavior. Culture shock and socio-cultural ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: English Language Learners: Assessment Issues


1
English Language Learners Assessment Issues
  • Summer Institute 2008
  • May 12-13, 2008
  • Elke Schneider, Ph.D.

2
OUTLINE
  • Assessment challenges
  • Legal requirements
  • Assessment procedures

3
Assessment challenges
  • Lack of
  • trained assessors/teachers
  • knowledge about ELL student needs
  • appropriately ELL-normed formal assessments
  • appropriately trained translators

4
Assessment challenges
  • False interpretation of language learning
    difficulties as a disability (? monolingual
    perspective)
  • False interpretation of ELL behavior
  • Culture shock and socio-cultural influences not
    considered
  • Watered down instruction for ELLs

5
Legal requirements
  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education
    Act) 2004 or Public Law 94-142 presents a legal
    mandate for the assessment of learning needs of
    ELLs or students with limited English
    proficiency
  • (1) Teach students in least restrictive
    environment This means for ELLs that they can be
    closest to their peers, the least restrictions of
    learning environment for their learning success
  • (2) The child needs to be assessed in the childs
    home language or the language in which the child
    is most proficient

6
Legal requirements
  • (3) Tests cannot be culturally or racially
    biased/discriminatory this could occur through
    culture specific pictures, words, expressions
  • (4) Tests need to measure skills rather than
    limited English proficiency
  • (5) Test should only be used for those purposes
    designed ? do not use a test normed for native
    speakers with ELLs because the test is not normed
    for ELLs

7
Legal requirements
  • (6) The childs language needs have to be
    considered.
  • (7) Entire assessment teams are asked to consider
    the individual students language needs.
  • (8) Decisions on qualification for services can
    only be made based on comprehensive
    multi-dimensional assessment ONE or two
    assessment tools are not sufficient formal and
    informal assessment resources should be used.

8
Legal requirements
  • (9) No one instrument can be used as the sole
    criterion to make a decision for or against
    services for an ELL you must use a variety of
    tests.
  • (10) Tests must be administered by professional
    personnel (highly qualified).

9
Fair Assessment Procedures
  • Prior to formal assessment
  • RTI Response to Intervention applies to ELLs
    requires instructional or testing adaptations for
    struggling ELLs
  • (IDEA, 2004)
  • Tier 1 in whole class, classroom teacher
  • Tier 2 in small group, classroom teacher
  • Tier 3 individualized, TESOL or SPED teacher

10
Fair Assessment Procedures
  • Other informal data
  • - Parent interview with translator
  • - Student interview with translator
  • - Teacher-prepared observations

11
Fair Assessment Procedures
  • B. Formal assessment
  • only ELL-normed tests can be used
  • Translator must be present
  • Parental permission must be obtained

12
General Considerations
  • In order to make well-informed decisions about
    ELLs needs, keep the following in mind
  • a) Primary concern Are socio-cultural factors
    major contributors to a students learning or
    behavior problems?
  • b) Secondary concern Do socio-cultural factors
    along with other special needs-related cognitive,
    physical, psychological or language processing
    conditions contribute to the students learning
    or behavior problems?

13
General considerations
  • A search for disabilities should always be
    preceded by a thorough analysis of
  • a) cultural differences
  • b) linguistic differences
  • c) social differences

14
Selected References
  • Artiles, A. Ortiz, A. (2002). English language
    learners with special education needs
    Identification, assessment and instruction.
    Washington, DC CAL.
  • La Celle-Peterson, M. Rivera, C. (1994). Is it
    Real for All Kids? A Framework for Equitable
    Assessment Policies for English Language
    Learners. Harvard Educational Review, 64(1)
    (Spring 1994), pp. 55-75.

15
Selected References
  • OMalley, J. Pierce, L (2000). Authentic
    assessment for English language learners
    Practical approaches for teachers. Addison
    Wesley.
  • Rivera, C., Stansfield, C. (1998). Leveling the
    playing field for English language learners
    Increasing participation in state and local
    assessments through accommodations. In R. Brandt
    (Ed.), Assessing student learning New rules, new
    realities. Arlington, VA Educational Research
    Service.

16
Selected References
  • Rivera, C., Stansfield, C. (2000). An analysis
    of state policies for the inclusion and
    accommodation of English language learners in
    state assessment programs during 1998- 1999.
    (Executive Summary. Washington, DC The George
    Washington University, Center for Equity and
    Excellence in Education.
  • Solano-Flores, G. (2003). Examining language in
    context The need of new research and practice
    paradigms in the testing of English language
    learners. Educational Researcher, 32 (2), 3-13.
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