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Characteristics of English Language Learners (ELLs) Language Similarities & differences Culture Childrearing practices & family values Parental role in.

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Presentation on theme: "Characteristics of English Language Learners (ELLs) Language Similarities & differences Culture Childrearing practices & family values Parental role in."— Presentation transcript:


2 Characteristics of English Language Learners (ELLs) Language Similarities & differences Culture Childrearing practices & family values Parental role in school Previous educational experience Literacy in native language

3 Characteristics of ELLs Language Over 200 language backgrounds Proximity of native language to English Culture Passive vs. active Family values Child-rearing practices Previous educational experience Use of native language literacy as a building block

4 What is Assessment? Gathering information on what a student knows or has learned Formal or informal Observation & documentation

5 No Child Left Behind Good News Accountability for ELLs Bad News One size does not fit all English language standardized tests not always appropriate for ELLs Statewide testing for ELLs – an emerging field, not much research

6 Disaggregation of Test Scores Separating out test scores or results for ELL students from all scores To find out: How are ELLs doing? Are they meeting state standards?

7 Validity Accuracy of inferences Making appropriate assumptions about test scores Use language of classroom instruction Use alternative forms of assessment that reflect classroom instruction

8 Video New Kid in Town Arlington Intake Center, Arlington VA

9 Newcomer Assessment Used to determine Native language literacy Prior educational experience Phonemic awareness in English Prior knowledge

10 Inappropriate Assessments Problems with current tests Heavy language load Out of context Culturally-based

11 Sample Test Item Grade 3 Reading Look at the picture. Which word has the same middle and ending sounds as the name of the picture? »F butter »G rabbit »H kettle »J nibble

12 Assessing Reading Must reflect classroom instruction Use interactive tasks to provide context for learning Standardized tests do not always provide context or language support

13 Linking Classroom Assessments to Statewide Tests Base classroom assessments on state standards Use classroom learning tasks as opportunities for assessment

14 Benefits of Classroom-Based Assessments Guide both teaching & learning Continuous adjustments by teacher & students Provide specific, personalized, timely information

15 Two Types of Assessment Teacher-Useful Assessments Observation & documentation Checklists, rubrics, anecdotal records Student-Friendly Assessments Checklists detailing learning expectations

16 Assessing ELLs with Learning Disabilities Ways to promote success: Use manipulatives, pictures, illustrations Use performance-based assessment Use instructionally-based materials

17 Language or Learning Disability? Ways to assess: Educational & medical history Parental interview Student interview Teacher observation and documentation on variety of learning tasks

18 Assessment Does not need to take time away from instruction Can be simultaneous to instruction Must be ongoing & continuous Can provide feedback to guide teaching and improve learning An integral part of instruction

19 Teacher Assessments Inform & Direct Instruction Needs/Diagnostic Assessment Reading Instruction Redirected Reading Instruction Cycle of Assessment & Instruction

20 Before and After Teaching Find out what students know Diagnostic tests Oral questioning Group for differentiated instruction Relate to prior knowledge & students’ interests Compare results before and after tests

21 State Standardized Tests Measure annual growth Not as useful for informing classroom instruction on weekly basis

22 Video Letters and Sounds Mark Hopkins Elementary School, Sacramento CA

23 Video highlights Student engaged to follow specific instruction Student performs literacy task Teacher keeps record of strengths and needs

24 Useful Teaching Approaches Relate new information to students’ prior knowledge Use hands-on tasks, manipulatives, games, kinesthetic activities, visuals Help learners feel they belong

25 Assessing and Diagnosing In a Multi-lingual Classroom Common set of teaching standards and objectives Compare each students accomplishments to standards instead of to each other

26 When Native Language Literacy Is Not Available in the Classroom Gather Resources Parents, community members, networking Provide Scaffolding in the Classroom Simplified English language Reinforce oral directions with written ones Visuals, manipulatives Cooperative learning, games Reduce students’ anxiety & stress

27 Assessment That Promotes Learning Not just auditing learning Diagnosing strengths and needs Providing specific feedback Descriptive & productive feedback Not just a grade Add constructive comments

28 Sharing Expectations with Students Ideas to try: Use wall charts, tables, graphs Use symbols to reduce language load Use color coding Use student-friendly checklists for reading skills Student/teacher conferences Essential for self-monitoring

29 Informing Both Parents & Students Share learning goals, objectives, and assessment results Enable students to hit the learning target

30 Teacher Observations Observe whole class or small groups Save one-on-one assessment for individuals not making progress Group & individual tasks Provide time for individual conferences

31 Involving Parents Native language resources Provide child’s history Need to know learning goals & assessment expectations Can support literacy in the home

32 L. V. Pierce, George Mason University Summary Need variety of assessments Need to involve parents Need state legislation requiring teacher assessment literacy

33 Thank you forwatching!

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