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Promising Research-based Practices in Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners Ani C. Moughamian, PhD Assistant Research Professor University.

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Presentation on theme: "Promising Research-based Practices in Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners Ani C. Moughamian, PhD Assistant Research Professor University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Promising Research-based Practices in Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners Ani C. Moughamian, PhD Assistant Research Professor University of Houston Center on Instruction, ELL Strand

2 The Center on Instruction is operated by RMC Research Corporation in partnership with the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University; Instructional Research Group; the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics at the University of Houston; and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin. The contents of this PowerPoint were developed under cooperative agreement S283B with the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government The Center on Instruction requests that no changes be made to the content or appearance of this product. To download a copy of this document, visit

3 Audience Poll I: What RCC (or area) are you from? Alaska Appalachia (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia) California Florida and the Islands (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands) Great Lakes East (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio) Great Lakes West (Illinois, Wisconsin) Mid-Atlantic (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, DC) Mid-Continent (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma) New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) New York North Central (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota) Northwest (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming) Pacific (Hawaii, American Samoa, Mariana Islands, Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau) Southeast (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina) Southwest (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah) Texas

4 Audience Poll II: What is your role? RCC staff member SEA staff member LEA staff member Teacher/paraprofessional State director Administrator Professional development staff Other

5 POLL I and II Results Where are you from? What are your roles?

6 Overview Part I Instructional Issues Part II Assessment Issues

7 Preface The research we present here is where the field currently stands Research on ELLs is limited Particularly research that is scientifically-based or experimental Emerging research exists (e.g. Francis, Lesaux, Vaughn, CREATE etc.), but may not have been published yet

8 Why we need good information Over five million ELLs in US schools Over the past 10 years, the number of ELLs has grown by 57% (NCELA, 2007) 59% of ELLs qualify for free/reduced lunch 8 th grade ELLs score lower than English speaking peers in reading and mathematics Students who speak another language at home lag 20 points behind in high school completion (NCELA, 2008)

9 Audience Poll III Are you currently working with your state(s), district(s), and/or school(s) to make decisions about instructional programming for ELL students? Yes No

10 POLL III Results

11 PART I: Instructional Topics Language of instruction Reviews that discuss effective instructional practices for ELLs Additional promising instructional practices Questions/Discussion

12 Language of Instruction Current debate about efficacy of bilingual versus English only instruction Political issue: laws in four states (CA, MA, AZ, FL) that have mandated English only instruction for all ELLs Generally, reviews have found that bilingual programs seem to be more effective for ELLs

13 Good Instructional Practices (Goldenberg, 2008) Good instruction and good curriculum holds for ALL students, including ELLs (in general) Clear goals and learning objectives Meaningful, challenging, and motivating contexts Content-rich curriculum Well-designed, clearly structured, well-paced Active engagement and participation

14 Good Instructional Practices, cont Opportunities to practice, apply, and transfer new learning Feedback Review and practice Assessment to monitor progress (then re- teaching if necessary) Opportunities to interact with peers in motivating and structured contexts

15 Instructional Modifications (Goldenberg, 2008) Use text with familiar content Build English vocabulary knowledge Primary language support Scaffold ELLs in an English-only environment Promote productive interaction between ELLs and fluent English speakers Give ELLs more time to learn Assess ELLs content knowledge separately from language development knowledge

16 National Literacy Panel, 2006 Few experimental and rigorous studies of literacy instruction for ELL students Small numbers make it difficult to make conclusive recommendations Effective literacy instruction for ELLs looks similar to instruction for native speakers Some modifications are necessary Developing ELLs English proficiency is important

17 NLP Instructional Practices Appropriate use of native language Modify curriculum based on students knowledge of native language Connections between languages Provide support and practice in English Identify and clarify difficult text Summarize text Provide extra practice time to read

18 NLP Instructional Practices, cont Focus on vocabulary Check for reading comprehension Provide ideas clearly across multiple domains (e.g. both verbally and in writing) Paraphrase students talk Provide opportunities to practice oral language

19 Systemic efforts (NLP, 2006) Effective practices for native English speakers also seem to work for ELL students Implicit and explicit challenges Active involvement Activities in which students can be successful Scaffolding instruction Teacher feedback Collaborative/cooperative learning Sheltered instruction Respect for diversity

20 Effective Literacy Instruction (NLP) Explicit instruction in literacy components (i.e. phonemic awareness, phonics, oral reading, fluency, reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, and spelling) Complex approaches to teaching literacy Address multiple literacy components simultaneously Few experimental studies

21 Genessee, et. al., 2005 Oral language development Literacy Academic achievement Program factors

22 Oral Language Development Daily oral English language instruction until ELLs achieve minimum proficiency level Developing oral language in English is essential to ELLs school achievement ELLs need time to develop English oral proficiency 4-7 years (e.g. Hakuta, Butler, & Witt, 2000) ELLs need structured, well-designed tasks and opportunities to use oral English in the classroom

23 Literacy ELLs with literacy knowledge in L1 acquire L2 literacy more readily Direct instruction Interactive instruction Combination of the two

24 Academic Achievement ELLs need sustained instruction in L1 However, bilingual proficiency and biliteracy have a positive impact on achievement Instruction should focus on utilizing the relationship between development of L1 and L2 Developing students proficiency in both languages can be beneficial

25 Program Factors Positive school environment Meaningful & challenging curriculum (higher order thinking) Cooperative learning and interaction Staff who knowledgeable about bilingualism and second language development

26 Effective Literacy and Language Instruction for ELLs (IES Guide) Five recommendations 1. Screen for reading problems and monitor progress 2. Provide intensive small-group reading interventions 3. Provide extensive and varied vocabulary instruction 4. Develop academic English 5. Schedule regular peer-assisted learning opportunities

27 What the reviews have in common Importance of oral language development in English Academic language and vocabulary development Opportunities for classroom conversation collaborative/peer-assisted learning strategies Use of students native language in instruction is beneficial Use of assessment to guide instruction

28 Additional Instructional Practices Sheltered instruction Relationship between oral and written language Narrative Academic language

29 Sheltered Instruction Language development through content SIOP is one example, particularly good for older ELLs (e.g. Short & Echevarria, 2004; Echevarria, Short, & Powers, 2006) Careful lesson preparation Build background knowledge, provide comprehensible input, incorporate strategies, interaction, applications and practice, and assessment Teacher scaffolds materials by drawing on background knowledge, creating shared experiences

30 Oral and Written Language Strength of relationship Narrative (e.g. Dickenson & Tabors, 2001; Bailey & Moughamian, 2007; Moughamian, in prep.) Need opportunities for oral language development Peer assisted learning has some demonstrated success in this area

31 Academic Language Crucial for comprehension and analysis of texts (esp. in secondary) Teach vocabulary in context See it, say it, use it in a sentence, notice something about it (e.g. prefix, cognate, part of speech, etc.) Teach both content and academic vocabulary explicitly (Calderon, 2007) Teach strategies Guessing a word from context Use prefixes, suffixes, and roots

32 Questions Id like to spend about 5-10 minutes if you have questions about the instructional section

33 POLL IV Are you currently working with your state(s), district(s), and/or school(s) on issues of assessment and accountability for ELL students? Yes No

34 POLL IV Results

35 Part II: Assessment Topics Importance and purpose of assessment for ELLs Assessment and NCLB LEP Framework Additional recommendations for assessment of ELLs Questions/Discussion

36 Importance of Assessment for ELLs Fair and valid assessment is a priority of the national educational agenda (Francis, Rivera, Lesaux, Kieffer, & Rivera, 2006) Assessment impacts ELLs in significant ways Classroom curriculum and instruction classification and grouping

37 Purpose of Language Proficiency and Literacy Assessments Determine language program placement Monitor student progress/performance Inform instruction Guide student exit decisions Identify students eligible for special services (e.g. Title I, speech and hearing, special education, accelerated/gifted programs) August & Hakuta, 1997; Kato et. al., 2004)

38 Assessment and NCLB Language proficiency and content standards must be aligned to each other and achievement targets Links language proficiency to language necessary for academic success in content The law calls for ELL students to be accurately and validly assessed Abedi, 2007

39 Post-NCLB Assessments Four consortia developed assessments under NCLB requirements Mountain West Assessment English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Comprehensive English Language Learner Assessment (CELLA) Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs)

40 Post-NCLB Assessments cont Include items across four domains of reading, writing, listening, and speaking Also include comprehension in listening and reading and overall performance Assessments were tested on representative samples of students

41 LEP Framework (AACC, 2008) Designed to help states ensure that their ELL students achieve English language proficiency and also, achieve at high levels academically Provides criteria for high quality English language proficiency standards aligned to assessments Use for evaluating existing standards and assessments Also can be used to develop and implement new standards and assessments

42 RECOMMENDATIONS And now for some further

43 RTI Framework for Assessment Addresses (mis)placement of ELLs in special education Used for determining/identifying whether an ELL has a true disability or if it is a language barrier Requires effective, on-going assessment beginning in kindergarten Include measures of print awareness, phonological awareness, letter-word identification, vocabulary knowledge, and oral language proficiency

44 Native Language Assessment Comprehensive assessment in both languages gives a more complete picture of language skills and ability Listening, speaking, reading, and writing Interpret results with caution Not all ELLs receive native language instruction May want to give instructions in native language

45 Progress Monitoring Conduct formative assessments with ELLs using English language measures of phonological processing, letter knowledge, and word/text reading Use this data to identify ELLs who need instructional support Use this data to monitor reading progress over time (Gersten, Baker, Shanahan, Linan-Thompson, Collins, & Scarcella, 2007)

46 Accommodations Linguistic accommodations Can be effective, especially for those students at intermediate proficiency in English Other kinds of accommodations include Native language use Instructions, student responses, translate test items, side-by side dual language test More time Dictionaries Customized glossary

47 Multiple Data sources Use multiple sources of data Ensure that students are assessed in different ways for placement Data should be consistent across those multiple sources Comprehensive language and literacy screening and assessment system for ELLs

48 Assessment Questions Do you have any questions about the assessment portion of this presentation? Do you have any remaining questions about the entire presentation?

49 References Abedi, J. (2007). English language proficiency assessment in the nation: Current status and future practice. Davis, CA: UC Davis School of Education. Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center. (2009). Framework for High-Quality English Language Proficiency Standards and Assessment. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. August, D. & Hakuta, K. (1997). Improving schooling for language minority children: A Research Agenda. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Bailey, A. L. & Moughamian, A. C. (2007). Telling stories their way: Narrative scaffolding with emergent readers and readers. Narrative Inquiry, 17(2), Ballantyne, K. G., Sanderman, A. R., Levy, J. (2008). Education English language learners: Building teacher capacity. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. Retrieved from Calderón, M. E. (2007). Teaching reading to English language learners, Grades 6-12: A framework for improving achievement in the content areas. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Dickinson, D. K., & Tabors, P. (Eds.). (2001). Beginning literacy with language: Young children learning at home and school. Baltimore: Paul Brooks Publishing. Echevarria, J., Short, D. J., & Powers, K. (2006). School reform and standards-based education: A model for English language learners. Journal of Educational Research, 99(4), Francis, D. J., Rivera, M., Lesaux, N., Kieffer, M., & Rivera, H. (2006). Practical guidelines for the education of English language learners: Research-based recommendations for instruction and academic interventions. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction. Retrieved from Interventions.pdf. Interventions.pdf

50 References, cont Genessee, F., Lindholm-Leary, K., Saunders, W., & Christian, D. (2005). English language learners in U.S. schools: An overview of research findings. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 10(4), Gersten, R., Baker, S. K., Shanahan, T., Linan-Thompson, S., Collins, P., & Scarcella, R. (2007). Effective literacy and English language instruction for English learners in the elementary grades: A practice guide (NCEE ). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from Goldenberg, C. (2008). Teaching English language learners: What the research does and does not say. American Educator, Kato, K., Albus, D., Liu, K., Guven, K., & Thurlow, M. (2004). Relationships between a statewide language proficiency test and academic achievement assessments: LEP projects report 4. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes. Moughamian, A. C. (in preparation). The stories we tell: Narrative skill and literacy outcomes in 4 th, 5 th, and 6 th grade Armenian American English learner students. Unpublished manuscript, UCLA. Shanahan, T. & Beck, I. L. (2006). Effective literacy teaching for English language learners. In D. L. August and T. Shanahan (Eds.). Developing literacy in a second language: Report of the National Literacy Panel, ( ). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Short, D. J. & Echevarria, J. (2004). Using multiple perspectives in observations of diverse classrooms: The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). In H. C. Waxman, R. G. Tharp, & R. S. Hilberg (Eds.). Observational research in US classrooms: New approaches for understanding cultural and linguistic diversity, (21-47). New York, NY: Cambridge, UP.

51 Resources COI Website National Center on RTI website Assessment and Accountability Center s/aacc/home.htm s/aacc/home.htm

52 Resources, cont Center for Applied Linguistics NCELA IES What Works website (through IES)

53 Resources, cont Colorin Colorado National Literacy Panel

54 Thank You!

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