Best practices in state assessment policies for accommodating
Best Practices in State Assessment Policies for Accommodating English Language Learners: A Delphi Study Barbara D. Acosta, Charlene Rivera and Lynn Willner (2008) Presented by Robert Van Vorst ESL 501
Reasons for the Study: <ul><li>To obtain a consensus about ELL-responsive accommodations from an expert panel. </li></ul><ul><li>Members of the panel were selected from experts knowledgeable about research, policy and practice in the areas of assessment, psychometrics, language testing, second language acquisition and instruction of ELLs. </li></ul><ul><li>What accommodations work best for ELLs? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Acosta, B., Rivera, C., & Willner, L. (2008), p.1 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Accommodations : <ul><li>Making the content of the test accessible to students is different for ELLs than students with disabilities (p.2). </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodations for ELLs involve changes to testing procedures, testing materials, or the testing situations in order to allow ELLS to participate meaningfully in assessments (p.1) </li></ul>
Warning! <ul><li>Accommodations cannot alter the construct being assessed or provide undue assistance in answering the test item (p.3). </li></ul>
Direct Linguistic Support Accommodations adjusting the language of the test Dual language reference materials- reference materials provided in English and Spanish. English reference materials – English dictionaries and glossaries provided in print or electronically. Scripted oral Translation – reading aloud a professionally translated script of translated test items. Scripted Oral English – reading aloud and repeating test items Sight translation- is the oral, on-the-fly, rendering of test directions, items, or both into the student's native language. Clarification in English – involves the provision of oral explanations of text considered potentially difficult for ELLs to access. Response in Native Language – allows students to respond orally or in writing in their stronger language. Oral response in English – includes accommodations allowing students to respond to questions orally in English. Written Translation – rendering parts or all of an English language assessment into a second language. Plain English – test items or test directions for which linguistic complexity has been reduced while maintaining the level of difficulty of the test construct. Native Language English
Indirect Linguistic Accommodations adjusting the conditions of the test <ul><li>Extended test time : This helps facilitate ELLs’ language processing. </li></ul><ul><li>Extended time can be used along with direct linguistic support accommodations. </li></ul>
English Language Proficiency’s Affect on Accommodations <ul><li>An expert panel was instructed to consider each accommodation and the level of English language proficiency (ELP) a student would need to benefit from an accommodation (p.11) </li></ul><ul><li>Not only do students vary across ELP levels, they also vary across important background characteristics such as literacy in each language, prior education, and languages of instruction in the subject areas to be assessed (p.12). </li></ul><ul><li>See Table 4 on p. 12 for the English language proficiency rubric </li></ul>
Examples of accommodations not considered ELL-responsive: <ul><li>Administer test in familiar room or a room with minimal distraction. </li></ul><ul><li>Test in a small group or individually. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow students to mark answers in test booklet. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow student to point to answers </li></ul><ul><li>Many more examples on Table 8. </li></ul>
Recommendations from the study: <ul><li>Screen accommodations from ELL-responsiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>Specify accommodations to be used for content assessments. </li></ul><ul><li>Standardize and clearly describe accommodations. </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish between test administration practices and accommodations. </li></ul><ul><li>Offer accommodations for ELLs at each English language proficiency level. </li></ul><ul><li>Offer accommodations for ELLs with different levels of literacy in English and the native language (p.23). </li></ul>
Important reminder <ul><li>Learning a second language is not a disability. We cannot rely on the framework and research used to study accommodations for students with disabilities. </li></ul>
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