Presentation on theme: "Ani C. Moughamian, PhD Assistant Research Professor"— Presentation transcript:
1Promising Research-based Practices in Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners Ani C. Moughamian, PhDAssistant Research ProfessorUniversity of HoustonCenter on Instruction, ELL Strand
2The 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
3Audience Poll I: What RCC (or area) are you from? AlaskaAppalachia (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia)CaliforniaFlorida 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 YorkNorth 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)TexasTo start off, I’d like to get a sense of where you are from and what your roles are in your organizations. Please answer the two poll questions on your screen.
4Audience Poll II: What is your role? RCC staff memberSEA staff memberLEA staff memberTeacher/paraprofessionalState directorAdministratorProfessional development staffOther
5POLL I and II ResultsWhere are you from?What are your roles?Thanks!
6Overview Part I Part II Instructional Issues Assessment Issues So today we will be discussing promising practices in instruction and assessment for English language learner students. We will start with instruction first, and then move onto assessment. The presentation will have time after part one for discussion and questions and again after part two.
7The research we present here is where the field currently stands PrefaceThe research we present here is where the field currently standsResearch on ELLs is limitedParticularly research that is “scientifically-based” or “experimental”Emerging research exists (e.g. Francis, Lesaux, Vaughn, CREATE etc.), but may not have been published yetAlthough we did an exhaustive search for literature in the areas of instruction and assessment for ELLs in order to provide you with the most recent information, the work in these topics is limited. What I will present today is where the field currently stands, but it is limited. Although there has been a great deal of research examining language and literacy development for monolingual English speaking students, there has not yet been the same kinds of work done for ELL students. This means that the type of scientifically-based or experimental research for this population simply does not exist yet. While there are a number of researchers currently working on these issues, it is still an emerging field and much of it is still in the pilot stage, or not yet published and available for us to read. Much of this may be information that you have heard before, but we wanted to try to bring together some of the key issues and give you a sense of where the research stands in the areas of instruction and assessment for ELL students, particularly as you are working with states, districts, and schools.
8Why we need good information Over five million ELLs in US schoolsOver the past 10 years, the number of ELLs has grown by 57% (NCELA, 2007)59% of ELLs qualify for free/reduced lunch8th grade ELLs score lower than English speaking peers in reading and mathematicsStudents who speak another language at home lag 20 points behind in high school completion(NCELA, 2008)However, as I am sure you all know, there is a great need for good information in these areas for ELLs. There are currently over five million ELLs in US schools, which is a growth of 57% in the last 10 years. Compared to 28% of English proficient students who qualify for free and reduced lunch programs, more than twice that percentage of ELLs qualify, which means that a majority of ELLs are considered to be low SES, which carries risk factors. In addition, in terms of academic achievement, 8th grade ELLs score lower than their English speaking peers in both reading and mathematics and ELLs lag 20 points behind in rates of high school completion.ELLs also tend to come from homes with parents who have lower education levels: almost half had not completed high school, and a quarter had less than a ninth grade education. For English proficient children, the percentages are 11 and 2, respectively (at elementary level). For high school ELLs, 35% had parents who had not completed high school (versus 9% of English proficient students) and 26% had not completed the ninth grade (4% of English proficient students)
9Audience Poll IIIAre you currently working with your state(s), district(s), and/or school(s) to make decisions about instructional programming for ELL students?YesNoBefore we get started talking about the instructional issues, I would like to share how many of you are working with your states and/or districts and/or schools to support instructional decision making. Please answer the following poll question.
11PART I: Instructional Topics Language of instructionReviews that discuss effective instructional practices for ELLsAdditional promising instructional practicesQuestions/DiscussionIn terms of instruction today, I will be talking about the following topics: Language of instruction, reviews of effective instructional practices for ELLs and additional promising instructional practices.
12Language of Instruction Current debate about efficacy of bilingual versus English only instructionPolitical issue: laws in four states (CA, MA, AZ, FL) that have mandated English only instruction for all ELLsGenerally, reviews have found that bilingual programs seem to be more effective for ELLsThe language of instruction for ELLs is a fairly heated current debate. That is, the argument about whether bilingual programs that focus on instruction both in students’ native language and English, with transition into English instruction once students gain English proficiency or English-only instruction, persists and does not appear to have a conclusive answer. It is a deeply politicized issue, with four states having laws that mandate English only instruction for all ELLs.The research literature on this issue has generally found that bilingual programs seem to be moderately more effective for ELL instruction when compared to English only programs. However, regardless of the language used for instruction, there are a number of good instructional practices that can be used which I will now discuss.
13Good Instructional Practices (Goldenberg, 2008) Good instruction and good curriculum holds for ALL students, including ELLs (in general)Clear goals and learning objectivesMeaningful, challenging, and motivating contextsContent-rich curriculumWell-designed, clearly structured, well-pacedActive engagement and participationGoldenberg recently published an article that details a series of good instructional practices that have been shown across a number of different research studies. These include the idea that good instruction and good curriculum benefit all students, and that includes ELLs. Thus, setting clear goals and objectives, providing meaningful, challenging and motivating contexts for learning, and a content-rich curriculum that is well-designed, clearly structured and well-paced are all effective practices. In addition, encouraging active engagement and participation of all students in the classroom is good for all students, including English language learners.
14Good Instructional Practices, con’t Opportunities to practice, apply, and transfer new learningFeedbackReview and practiceAssessment to monitor progress (then re-teaching if necessary)Opportunities to interact with peers in motivating and structured contextsGoldenberg tells us that while these instructional issues have not been studied with ELLs to the extent to which they have been studied in monolingual English speakers, there is some work done which shows that there is cross-over between good teaching for both groups. Within reason, of course. That is, there are individual and/or group differences. For example, some students might benefit more from one type of instructional practice than another. This is true for all students, ELL or not. Other practices that are effective include providing students with opportunities to practice, apply, and transfer new knowledge to what they already know, as well as reviewing and practicing that new material. In addition, teachers should provide feedback, as well as opportunities to interact with peers in motivating and structured contexts. Finally, teachers should be encouraged to continuously use assessments to monitor student progress and then re-teach specific skills if students need further instruction.
15Instructional Modifications (Goldenberg, 2008) Use text with familiar contentBuild English vocabulary knowledgePrimary language supportScaffold ELLs in an English-only environmentPromote productive interaction between ELLs and fluent English speakersGive ELLs more time to learnAssess ELLs content knowledge separately from language development knowledgeIn addition to the effective practices I just listed, however, ELLs also need instructional modifications which take into account their limited English knowledge. These include the use of texts that have content familiar to the students, building English vocabulary, the use of students’ primary language to support learning and to scaffold ELLs within an English-only environment. While providing time for interaction is good, promoting productive interaction between ELLs and fluent English speakers can be an effective instructional tool. In addition, ELLs may need more time to learn. Although we will cover assessment later in this presentation, I do want to mention here that ELLs’ content knowledge should be measured and assessed separately from their language development knowledge. That is, content assessments should take into account students language level, and measure their knowledge of that specific content, rather than their knowledge of English.
16National Literacy Panel, 2006 Few experimental and rigorous studies of literacy instruction for ELL studentsSmall numbers make it difficult to make conclusive recommendationsEffective literacy instruction for ELLs looks similar to instruction for native speakersSome modifications are necessaryDeveloping ELLs English proficiency is importantThe NLP found only 17 studies addressing effects of explicitly teaching literacy skills for language minority students that met their inclusion criteria. This is compared to the National Reading Panel that found more than 400 studies on these topics for native English speakers that met similar criteria. Even though the NLP was completed in 2006, even in the last three years there have not been significant numbers of studies done in this area. Therefore, what we know is still limited. In addition, the small amount of empirical evidence makes it difficult for us to make conclusive recommendations. Given that, however, there are a number of suggestions that the NLP makes about effective instruction. One of these is that effective literacy instruction for ELLs looks very similar to instruction for native speakers of English. However, there are some important considerations and modifications to make instruction more effective for ELLs. For example, one consideration is the appropriate use of students’ native language in the classroom. Another is to make changes to the curriculum based on students knowledge of their native language and the connections between English and the native language. Other examples include providing support and practice for ELLs as they are acquiring skills in their second language. Examples of this include identifying and clarifying difficult words or passages to help with comprehension; summarizing texts for students; providing extra practice time for reading words, sentences, and stories. In addition, specific attention to vocabulary, checking for reading comprehension, providing students with clear ideas in multiple methods (such as both verbally and in writing), paraphrasing students’ talk, and providing opportunities for students to practice oral language are all ways of enhancing instruction for ELLs.
17NLP Instructional Practices Appropriate use of native languageModify curriculum based on students’ knowledge of native languageConnections between languagesProvide support and practice in EnglishIdentify and clarify difficult textSummarize textProvide extra practice time to read
18NLP Instructional Practices, con’t Focus on vocabularyCheck for reading comprehensionProvide ideas clearly across multiple domains (e.g. both verbally and in writing)Paraphrase students’ talkProvide opportunities to practice oral language
19Systemic efforts (NLP, 2006) Effective practices for native English speakers also seem to work for ELL studentsImplicit and explicit challengesActive involvementActivities in which students can be successfulScaffolding instructionTeacher feedbackCollaborative/cooperative learningSheltered instructionRespect for diversityIn addition to these instructional techniques, it is equally important to focus instructional attention on building English language proficiency. The NLP found that students with lower levels of proficiency in English were not as able to take advantage of instructional interventions, and that higher levels of English proficiency were associated with more vocabulary learning, which indicates the importance of direct instruction in building ELLs oral language proficiency in English.Scaffolding instruction, including building and clarifying student input and the use of visual organizers, is beneficial.Some techniques were specifically related to instruction for ELLs. These include sheltered instruction and respect for linguistic and cultural diversity.
20Effective 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 literacyAddress multiple literacy components simultaneouslyFew experimental studiesThe panel found that explicit instruction in the components of literacy can enhance overall literacy achievement. That is, instruction designed to improve any of these areas can positively influence students entire set of literacy-related skills. This has been demonstrated significantly within the literature on native English speakers, and the NLP found that the small number of studies on ELL students, in this case, 17, was generally consistent with that finding.Some studies have focused on literacy programs that address multiple literacy components at the same time. Examples of the types of complex instructional programs examined by the NLP are Success for All, and encouraging reading and writing. Because there are so few experimental studies that look at complex approaches to literacy, it is difficult to say which ones work best. Moreover, although some do look promising (e.g. SFA), much of this work has been done on populations that do not include ELLs, so we cannot make any conclusions for this group of students. The NLP report states that the research evidence on these kinds of complex multi-dimensional approaches to literacy interventions is weak to moderate. However, research on Success For All did meet the selection criteria and each demonstrated a positive impact, which is encouraging.
21Oral language development Literacy Academic achievement Genessee, et. al., 2005Oral language developmentLiteracyAcademic achievementProgram factorsIn 2005, Genessee and colleagues conducted a review of research literature on effective practices for ELLs in the areas of oral language development, literacy, academic achievement, and instructional program factors.
22Oral Language Development Daily oral English language instruction until ELLs achieve minimum proficiency levelDeveloping oral language in English is essential to ELLs school achievementELLs need time to develop English oral proficiency4-7 years (e.g. Hakuta, Butler, & Witt, 2000)ELLs need structured, well-designed tasks and opportunities to use oral English in the classroomIncreased English oral proficiency leads to more English usage. ELLs with stronger oral English skills are more likely to interact and establish friendships with fluent and native-English speaking peers, which results in more opportunities for English practice. ELLs tend to use more complex language learning strategies, especially ones that allow them to interact with others and monitor their own language use (metalinguistic strategies), which are crucial for complex learning and cognitively demanding school tasks. Stronger oral English skills can also result in more use of academic language because they are learning to use language in multiple ways and participating in classroom interactions more often.Finally, there is a body of research which tells us that oral English proficiency is related to English reading outcomes.
23ELLs with literacy knowledge in L1 acquire L2 literacy more readily Direct instructionInteractive instructionCombination of the twoELLs draw on a host of resources when developing L2. These include knowledge and skills they have in L1, which generally is helpful.Research tells us that the best instruction for ELLs in literacy is to use either interactive approaches, in which learning is mediated through interaction both with peers as well as more competent readers and writers (teachers, older students) and direct instruction approaches which focus on explicit instruction of specific literacy strategies. A combination of these two approaches tends to be the most successful. That is, students who receive both explicit instruction in reading and writing strategies, as well as structured opportunities and contexts for interaction to utilize those strategies have proven to be successful for ELLs.
24ELLs need sustained instruction in L1 Academic AchievementELLs need sustained instruction in L1However, bilingual proficiency and biliteracy have a positive impact on achievementInstruction should focus on utilizing the relationship between development of L1 and L2Developing students proficiency in both languages can be beneficialIn order for ELLs to achieve in academic tasks, they need sustained instruction in their native language. However, students who obtain proficiency in both their native language and English and develop literacy in both language demonstrate more positive outcomes in terms of academic achievement. Thus, instruction should focus on utilizing the relationship between the two languages.
25Positive school environment Program FactorsPositive school environmentMeaningful & challenging curriculum (higher order thinking)Cooperative learning and interactionStaff who knowledgeable about bilingualism and second language developmentFinally, in terms of overall instructional program factors, Genessee and colleagues found that a positive school environment contributes to positive outcomes for ELLs. In addition, a meaningful and challenging curriculum that incorporates higher order thinking skills, as well as cooperative learning and interaction are beneficial. Finally, a staff who is knowledgeable about language development and bilingualism reinforces the development of a positive school culture that recognizes and understands issues ELLs face.
26Effective Literacy and Language Instruction for ELLs (IES Guide) Five recommendationsScreen for reading problems and monitor progressProvide intensive small-group reading interventionsProvide extensive and varied vocabulary instructionDevelop academic EnglishSchedule regular peer-assisted learning opportunitiesIn an IES guide in 2007, Gersten and colleagues made five recommendations to take into account for the education of ELL students. Recommendation one will be discussed in assessment section later in this presentation. However, this guide also recommended that instructional programs include intensive small group reading interventions for struggling ELLs. In addition, ELLs need extensive and varied vocabulary instruction, academic English instruction, and regular peer-assisted learning opportunities that are structured.
27What the reviews have in common Importance of oral language development in EnglishAcademic language and vocabulary developmentOpportunities for classroom conversation—collaborative/peer-assisted learning strategiesUse of students’ native language in instruction is beneficialUse of assessment to guide instructionThe reviews we just discussed have a number of elements for the instruction of ELLs in common. Ideally, these are the promising practices that instructional programs for ELLs should utilize. Thus, focusing on English oral language development and the relationship between oral and written language is a key factor in helping ELLs develop language and literacy. Secondly, explicit instruction in the elements of academic language, particularly in academic vocabulary, is essential for ELLs to develop the proficiency necessary for success on both school related tasks and assessments. Providing opportunities for classroom conversation, including collaborative and peer-assisted learning strategies, have been proven to be an effective means for encouraging language and literacy skills for ELLs, as has the use of students native language in instruction. Finally, as we will discuss later in this presentation, the use of assessment to guide instruction is essential for helping move ELLs toward academic success.
28Additional Instructional Practices Sheltered instructionRelationship between oral and written languageNarrativeAcademic languageThere are just a few more practices I would like to mention before we turn to assessment practices for ELLs.
29Sheltered Instruction Language development through contentSIOP is one example, particularly good for older ELLs (e.g. Short & Echevarria, 2004; Echevarria, Short, & Powers, 2006)Careful lesson preparationBuild background knowledge, provide comprehensible input, incorporate strategies, interaction, applications and practice, and assessmentTeacher scaffolds materials by drawing on background knowledge, creating shared experiencesSheltered instruction is one method for building language development in ELLs through academic content over the course of the entire school day. There are a number of sheltered instruction strategies that can be used. One method of sheltered instruction is the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol developed by Deborah Short and Jana Echevarria. The SIOP method calls for careful lesson preparation that builds students background knowledge and focuses on providing ELLs with input or information that is comprehensible to them. In addition, the protocol provides opportunities for developing learning strategies, interaction, and applying and practicing those strategies and new knowledge. Finally, the teacher is responsible for scaffolding the material by drawing on students’ background knowledge and creating shared experiences, as well as conducting regular assessments to guide instruction.
30Oral and Written Language Strength of relationshipNarrative (e.g. Dickenson & Tabors, 2001; Bailey & Moughamian, 2007; Moughamian, in prep.)Need opportunities for oral language developmentPeer assisted learning has some demonstrated success in this areaAnother important aspect for literacy instruction is the relationship between students’ development of oral and written language. Student’s oral language skills have been shown to be a strong predictor of reading outcomes. More specifically, narrative skills, or students’ ability to tell a story, have been linked to reading outcomes in native English speakers through seventh grade. This relationship has also been demonstrated in ELL students. Thus, encouraging ELLs to use oral language in the classroom and providing opportunities for interaction and dialogue can enhance literacy outcomes. Providing scaffolding for students narrative skills may also be beneficial for both ELLs and other students.
31Academic LanguageCrucial for comprehension and analysis of texts (esp. in secondary)Teach vocabulary in contextSee 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 strategiesGuessing a word from contextUse prefixes, suffixes, and rootsBecause academic language is of central interest in the research literature on effective instructional practices for ELLs, I’d like to spend a moment talking about it in a bit more detail than we discussed in the context of the research reviews. ELLs development of academic language is essential for the comprehension and analysis of texts. This becomes increasingly more important as students enter the secondary grades and are faced with more difficult content. Methods for ensuring that students develop academic language skills are to teach vocabulary, including academic words, in context to provide students with a way to build the new information into their existing knowledge set. In addition, explicit instruction is needed not just for content vocabulary, but for academic words as well. This explicit instruction can really enhance the development of academic language for ELLs, who need between 4 and 7 years to develop the academic language needed for success in school-related tasks.
32QuestionsI’d like to spend about 5-10 minutes if you have questions about the instructional section
33POLL IVAre you currently working with your state(s), district(s), and/or school(s) on issues of assessment and accountability for ELL students?YesNo
35Part II: Assessment Topics Importance and purpose of assessment for ELLsAssessment and NCLBLEP FrameworkAdditional recommendations for assessment of ELLsQuestions/DiscussionNow I would like to turn to talk about assessment issues for ELLs. In this section we will cover the importance and purpose of assessment for ELLs, assessment under NCLB, the LEP framework, and provide some additional recommendations for the assessment of ELLs.
36Importance 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 waysClassroomcurriculum and instructionclassification and groupingUsing fair and valid assessment methods and actual tests is a priority of the national education agenda. This is particularly true for ELLs, as assessment influences their educational experiences in significant ways.
37Purpose of Language Proficiency and Literacy Assessments Determine language program placementMonitor student progress/performanceInform instructionGuide student exit decisionsIdentify students eligible for special services (e.g. Title I, speech and hearing, special education, accelerated/gifted programs)August & Hakuta, 1997; Kato et. al., 2004)Language proficiency and literacy assessments are used with ELLs for a variety of reasons. They can determine ELLs placement in a specific language program and monitor students’ progress of performance both in language development and, ultimately, in content areas, including literacy. The results of assessments can also be used to inform instruction and guide exit decisions. In addition, they form the basis for student eligibility for special services. Thus, assessments play a major role in the educational experiences of ELLs, and represent a high stakes challenge for this population.There are a number of ways that an ELL can be misclassified based on assessments, and it is important that decisions be made using the best possible information available. Sometimes, entry and exit criteria can overly broad, and focus more on reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. They do not tend to assess academic skills and language and their relationship to ELLs content-area knowledge. Research tells us that the length of time an ELL is in the United States is actually a better predictor of improvement on language proficiency assessments than scores on math or English language arts assessments. Thus, making decisions for ELL support services should be made using not only language proficiency assessments, but assessments which measure ELLs knowledge of complex academic material and text. This focus should be mirrored in classrooms, with a strong focus on building academic English skills and content area knowledge for ELLs, rather than simply focusing on conversational English and simple narrative texts.
38The law calls for ELL students to be accurately and validly assessed Assessment and NCLBLanguage proficiency and content standards must be aligned to each other and achievement targetsLinks language proficiency to language necessary for academic success in contentThe law calls for ELL students to be accurately and validly assessedAbedi, 2007The No Child Left Behind Act, put into place in 2001, has increased efforts towards improving the quality of assessments for English language learners. In light of the gap in performance between ELLs and their native-English speaking peers, ensuring that assessment practices are fair, accurate, and valid is an increasingly important and essential priority for educators.NCLB also requires that those schools which receive Title I funding must use valid and reliable measures to assess ELL students and Title III legislation provides guidelines to construct English language proficiency assessments that provide both valid and reliable scores of ELLs’ English proficiency levels. Thus, NCLB encourages higher quality assessments for ELLs, and brings to light the issues around the development of accurate assessments for this population of students. More importantly, the focus on fair assessment practices for ELLs, ensures that these students have their language needs addressed, as well as have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge on assessments that accurately and authentically depict their understandings of academic content.
39Post-NCLB Assessments Four consortia developed assessments under NCLB requirementsMountain West AssessmentEnglish 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)In light of the requirements from the NCLB legislation, four groups of states across the U.S. came together to develop assessments for ELLs that would be based on the principles set forth by the new law. One consortia of states in the western and mountain area, including Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming along with the non-profit organization Measured Progress developed the Mountain West Assessment. Thirteen states in the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards for Limited English Proficient Students (LEP-SCASS) along with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) developed the English Language Development Assessment. This consortia also received consultation assistance and technical advice from Measurement Incorporated, The Center for the Study of Assessment, Validity, and Evaluation (CSAVE) and the University of Maryland. The Comprehensive English Language Learner Assessment was developed by a consortium of five states in collaboration with Accountability Works and ETS. Finally, the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners was developed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium, which is composed of the states of Arkansas, Alabama, Delaware, DC, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and collaborated with the Center for Applied Linguistics, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
40Post-NCLB Assessments con’t Include items across four domains of reading, writing, listening, and speakingAlso include comprehension in listening and reading and overall performanceAssessments were tested on representative samples of studentsThese consortia paid particular attention to developing assessments that closely followed the rules set forth by NCLB. Thus, these assessments include items across the four domains of literacy, reading, writing, listening and speaking. In addition, they include items that measure both listening and reading comprehension as well as overall performance in literacy. Finally, these assessments have been pilot-tested on representative samples of students. Thus, these assessments are a good starting place in terms of providing fair, valid, and reliable measures of ELLs performance in language and reading.However, there is still a need for on-going research and development to ensure the quality of English language proficiency assessments. States should continuously field test items, conduct ongoing reviews of the alignment between items and assessment tasks with the ELP standards, and implement validity studies to ensure that their state assessments validly and reliably measure ELLs achievement and progress in language and literacy.
41LEP Framework (AACC, 2008)Designed to help states “ensure that their ELL students achieve English language proficiency and also, achieve at high levels academicallyProvides criteria for high quality English language proficiency standards aligned to assessmentsUse for evaluating existing standards and assessmentsAlso can be used to develop and implement new standards and assessmentsOne way for states to examine their language proficiency standards and assessments is through the use of the LEP framework, which was developed through the Assessment and Accountability comprehensive center, one of our partner content centers. The framework provides criteria for high quality English language proficiency standards that are aligned to assessments. States can use this both for the evaluation of existing standards and assessments or to develop new ones.
42RECOMMENDATIONS And now for some further Next I would like to provide some additional recommendations.
43RTI Framework for Assessment Addresses (mis)placement of ELLs in special educationUsed for determining/identifying whether an ELL has a true disability or if it is a language barrierRequires effective, on-going assessment beginning in kindergartenInclude measures of print awareness, phonological awareness, letter-word identification, vocabulary knowledge, and oral language proficiencyResponse to Intervention is an effective way to address the misplacement of ELLs in special education. Conducting assessments within this framework can help to determine whether or not an ELL is experiencing a true disability and needs intervention, or a language barrier that requires additional language support or instruction. Assessments should be on-going, start in kindergarten, and include measures across multiple domains of language and literacy.
44Native Language Assessment Comprehensive assessment in both languages gives a more complete picture of language skills and abilityListening, speaking, reading, and writingInterpret results with cautionNot all ELLs receive native language instructionMay want to give instructions in native languageNative language assessment can be an effective way for obtaining a comprehensive understanding of a students’ language abilities. It can complement assessments conducted in English and provide a more complete picture of a students’ skill set. However, it should be noted here that ELLs development of most skills that are assessed in literacy for diagnostic, progress monitoring, or summative purposes depends on the instructional opportunities the student receives. Thus, for ELLs who have not received or no longer receive native language support, results of native language assessments should be interpreted cautiously. Results should be used for informative purposes, such as for clinical, diagnostic, or intervention planning purposes, but not for accountability or evaluative purposes. The goal of the use of such assessments should be to promote ELLs development and provide guidance for instruction. Students’ native language may also be used for administration of the instructions on any given assessment. This is one type of accommodation which may ensure that the student understands what the assessment requires. However, again, careful attention must be paid to match the child’s native language proficiency level.
45Progress MonitoringConduct formative assessments with ELLs using English language measures of phonological processing, letter knowledge, and word/text readingUse this data to identify ELLs who need instructional supportUse this data to monitor reading progress over time(Gersten, Baker, Shanahan, Linan-Thompson, Collins, & Scarcella, 2007)My colleague here at the Center on Instruction, Mabel Rivera, presented a webinar last month, archived on the COI website, that specifically discussed progress monitoring. I mention it here because it is an effective way to identify ELLs who need instructional support and the specific skill areas in which further instruction is needed. In addition, progress monitoring can be used to monitor reading progress over time and to help teachers plan instruction. It can also be an effective way to differentiate instruction for students at different levels.
46Accommodations Linguistic accommodations Can be effective, especially for those students at intermediate proficiency in EnglishOther kinds of accommodations includeNative language useInstructions, student responses, translate test items, side-by side dual language testMore timeDictionariesCustomized glossaryAssessment accommodations can also be an effective way to help ensure that assessments provide a true picture of ELLs’ content knowledge. Linguistic accommodations have been shown to be particularly effective for students at intermediate proficiency levels in English. Other accommodations include native language use during the test, providing students with more time, or the use of dictionaries or a customized glossary of content vocabulary words.
47Use multiple sources of data Multiple Data sourcesUse multiple sources of dataEnsure that students are assessed in different ways for placementData should be consistent across those multiple sourcesComprehensive language and literacy screening and assessment system for ELLsEducational decisions should be made using multiple sources of data. In addition, when deciding about support services and instructional programming for ELLs, the data used should be consistent across those multiple sources. Using multiple sources of data can help to more effectively identify learning issues for ELLs, particularly those who may have a language and/or learning disability. Multiple sources can help prevent misclassifications when making such complex decisions that have such high stakes for students. In addition, analyzing multiple sources of data helps to ensure that information is more reliable, consistent over time and between tasks, and that it maximizes students’ opportunity to demonstrate skill mastery. Multiple sources of data could include language proficiency assessment scores, academic achievement assessment scores, diagnostic measures of language processing and reading skills, parental reports of language and literacy abilities and/or practices, and teacher ratings. Making educational decisions for ELLs is a complex process, and ensuring that we have the best assessments available while at the same time obtaining a complete picture of a students’ skills will help to ensure more positive outcomes for all students.
48Assessment QuestionsDo you have any questions about the assessment portion of this presentation?Do you have any remaining questions about the entire presentation?
49ReferencesAbedi, 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 fromCalderón, 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
50References, con’tGenessee, 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 fromGoldenberg, C. (2008). Teaching English language learners: What the research does and does not say. American Educator, 8-44.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 4th, 5th, and 6th 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.
51National Center on RTI website Assessment and Accountability Center ResourcesCOI WebsiteNational Center on RTI websiteAssessment and Accountability Center
52Center for Applied Linguistics NCELA IES Resources, con’tCenter for Applied LinguisticsNCELAIESWhat Works website (through IES)WWC just issued a report about SIOP