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A SSESSMENT AND E LLS ESOL Awareness Workshop Wednesday, July 21, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "A SSESSMENT AND E LLS ESOL Awareness Workshop Wednesday, July 21, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 A SSESSMENT AND E LLS ESOL Awareness Workshop Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 W HAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A SSESSING ELL S ? There are five different purposes for conducting assessment with ESOL students. They are: Screening and Identification for Placement Determining their readiness to exit a program (reclassification) Monitoring their progress in ESOL or regular classroom Accountability for meeting state and other standards Program evaluation to determine effectiveness

3 H OME LANGUAGE S URVEYS English language learners are assessed within 3 weeks of enrollment if the answer to one or more of these questions is yes: (a) Is language other than English used in the home? (b) Does the student have a first language other than English? (c) Does the student most frequently speak a language other than English?

4 C OMPREHENSIVE E NGLISH L ANGUAGE L EARNING A SSESSMENT (CELLA ) The CELLA is a language proficiency test designed to measure the English language growth that ELLs need to succeed in school (FDOE, 2007). The CELLA is expected to provide data for schools and districts to chart student progress over time and allow them to meet the NCLB program accountability objectives.

5 CELLA, CONT …. The CELLA tests all four language skills separately in each of the test levels: Level A (Grades K-2), Level B (Grades 3-5), Level C (Grades 6-8), and Level D (Grades 9-12). The Listening, Reading, and Writing sections of the test are administered to students in groups; the Speaking section of the test is administered as individual interviews with students.

6 ELL S AND FCAT Do students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) take the FCAT? Per the Office of Academic Achievement through Language Acquisition, all ELLs are expected to participate in statewide assessments. However, if an ELL has been receiving services in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program operated in accordance with an approved district Limited English Proficient (LEP) plan for one year or less AND a majority of the student’s LEP committee determines that it is appropriate, the ELL may be exempt from the FCAT Writing or Reading administrations.Office of Academic Achievement through Language Acquisition

7 ELL S AND FCAT, CONT …. Exempt ELL students must participate in the English proficiency assessment or they will be counted as “not assessed” and will impact the participation rate calculation for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

8 ELL S AND FCAT, CONT …. All ELLs are expected to participate in the FCAT Mathematics and Science tests no matter how long these students have been receiving services. Not participating in the FCAT Mathematics assessment will impact the participation rate calculation for AYP.

9 ELL S AND FCAT, CONT …. Accommodations: ELLs may take the FCAT using accommodations appropriate for the particular need of each student. It is the responsibility of local school educators to work with students and parents to identify the allowable testing accommodations. Source: D=998#Q998 D=998#Q998

10 A SSESSMENT AND B IAS Cultural Bias When a question includes reference to an item that requires knowledge of a certain aspect of culture in order to answer correctly, it is considered culturally biased. Avoiding culture references on reading tests is very difficult. For that reason, teachers are asked to keep this in mind when evaluating tests of ELLs.

11 A SSESSMENT AND B IAS, CONT …. Attitudinal Bias This type of bias takes place when the assessor has a negative attitude toward a certain group of people. A bias toward a certain language or dialect can have a negative influence on assessment.

12 A SSESSMENT AND B IAS, CONT …. Assessment Bias This type of bias refers to using a certain format in questioning that may not be familiar to some ELLs.

13 A SSESSMENT AND B IAS, CONT …. Norming Bias When ELLs are not a part of a norming group, then these students are compared to a group that does not represent them. Often times when ELLs are included in the norming group the ratio is too small to matter.

14 A SSESSMENT AND B IAS, CONT …. It is important for teachers to become familiar with Cultural bias, Attitudinal bias, Assessment bias, and Test or Norming bias. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid some of these issues, but we need to be aware of them and try to reduce their affect on the assessment of English Language Learners as much as possible.

15 F ORMING Q UESTIONS Questions can be modified for ELLs depending on their level of proficiency, how long they have been in this country, the teacher’s familiarity with the students’ prior performances, educational background, native language, etc. See handout for examples

16 E RRORS It takes most people a number of years to “master” a new language. In the process of learning a new language, learners make errors. There are a number of causes for errors. Language learners are often exposed to a great deal of the new language over a short period of time. It is not always possible to retain this large amount of new information including vocabulary, sentence structure, social dos and don’ts, idioms, slangs, etc. in a brief amount of time.

17 E RRORS, CONT …. Influence of L1: Errors could be caused by transference of L1 patterns in pronunciation, grammar, spelling, etc. The influence of L1 plays a significant role in the learning of a new language. There are very many languages that differ considerably from English. Take for example Japanese and the absence of articles (a, an, and the) which are an important part of the English language.

18 E RRORS, CONT …. Russian follows a dissimilar word order. The subject could be followed by the object and then the verb, vs. subject – verb – object in English. Part of the learning process! Errors do result from incomplete knowledge of L2. When we learn a new language, we do not wait until we develop complete fluency before we begin to speak it. This means that the learners are attempting to use a language they do not know well.

19 E RRORS, CONT …. The English language has many unconventional spelling patterns as well as words having more than one possible meaning. There are rules and then there are exceptions to the rules. These issues complicate the learning process and bring about errors in the students’ production of the new language.

20 E RRORS, CONT …. Writing: It is a skill and there are common areas for errors which are occasionally traceable to the influence of L1. Here they are: ◦ Spelling ◦ Words Missing ◦ Words used incorrectly ◦ Capitalization ◦ Singular and plural endings ◦ Subject-verb agreement ◦ Proper use of articles ◦ Punctuations

21 T HE T REATMENT OF E RRORS Direct Feedback: Direct feedback refers to corrections instructors provide regarding students’ word choices, phrase structure, pronunciation, missing words, etc. Example: I go to visit grandma last week. The teacher underlines the verb and writes “went”.

22 T HE T REATMENT OF E RRORS, CONT …. Indirect Feedback: Indirect feedback refers to teachers providing their students with suggestions to make some changes or when they paraphrase or rephrase the “wrong statement”. Studies have shown that this form of correction (mainly modeling) has a long-term effect.

23 T HE T REATMENT OF E RRORS, CONT …. When providing feedback, remember to provide students with explanations of the reasons why they should avoid the same errors in the future. Feedback should be tailored to students’ specific needs, situations, linguistic background, life experiences, age, etc.

24 T HE T REATMENT OF E RRORS, CONT …. You say hoagie, I say gyro! Finally, remember to differentiate between errors and stylistic differences. Sometimes an error is not really an error but something that is different from what a native speaker might say.

25 G ENERAL G UIDELINES FOR T ESTING ELL S Avoid trick questions Use direct speech – indirect speech misleads non- advanced learners Test what has been taught Vary the difficulty level, it is best to go from easy to difficult Provide students with clear directions, simplify language, and explain what is required of them Beware of cultural bias in developing the test and in grading Provide examples and use visuals to clarify directions when possible Give credit for what the student knows Permit extra time than is typically allowed for native speakers of English

26 R EFERENCES : Bilingual & ESL Classrooms – Teaching in Multicultural Context. Ovando et al (4 th ed) McGraw Hill Law, B., and M. Eckes. Assessment and ESL. Canada. Peguis. Ferris, D. Treatment of Errors in Second Language Student Writing. Michigan. 2005


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