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  1. 2. Characteristics of English Language Learners (ELLs) <ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similarities & differences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Childrearing practices & family values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parental role in school </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Previous educational experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literacy in native language </li></ul></ul>
  2. 3. Characteristics of ELLs <ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 200 language backgrounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proximity of native language to English </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Passive vs. active </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child-rearing practices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Previous educational experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of native language literacy as a building block </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. What is Assessment? <ul><li>Gathering information on what a student knows or has learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal or informal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation & documentation </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. No Child Left Behind <ul><li>Good News </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability for ELLs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bad News </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One size does not fit all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English language standardized tests not always appropriate for ELLs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statewide testing for ELLs – an emerging field, not much research </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Disaggregation of Test Scores <ul><li>Separating out test scores or results for ELL students from all scores </li></ul><ul><li>To find out: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are ELLs doing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they meeting state standards? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 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
  7. 8. Video New Kid in Town Arlington Intake Center, Arlington VA
  8. 9. Newcomer Assessment <ul><li>Used to determine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Native language literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior educational experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phonemic awareness in English </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior knowledge </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Inappropriate Assessments <ul><li>Problems with current tests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy language load </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culturally-based </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Sample Test Item <ul><li>Grade 3 Reading </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the picture. </li></ul><ul><li>Which word has the same middle and ending sounds as the name of the picture? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>F butter </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>G rabbit </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>H kettle </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>J nibble </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 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
  12. 13. Linking Classroom Assessments to Statewide Tests Base classroom assessments on state standards Use classroom learning tasks as opportunities for assessment
  13. 14. Benefits of Classroom-Based Assessments Guide both teaching & learning Continuous adjustments by teacher & students Provide specific, personalized, timely information
  14. 15. Two Types of Assessment <ul><li>Teacher-Useful Assessments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation & documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Checklists, rubrics, anecdotal records </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student-Friendly Assessments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Checklists detailing learning expectations </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Assessing ELLs with Learning Disabilities <ul><li>Ways to promote success: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use manipulatives, pictures, illustrations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use performance-based assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use instructionally-based materials </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Language or Learning Disability? <ul><li>Ways to assess: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational & medical history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parental interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher observation and documentation on variety of learning tasks </li></ul></ul>
  17. 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
  18. 19. Teacher Assessments Inform & Direct Instruction Needs/Diagnostic Assessment Reading Instruction Redirected Reading Instruction Cycle of Assessment & Instruction
  19. 20. Before and After Teaching <ul><li>Find out what students know </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diagnostic tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oral questioning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Group for differentiated instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Relate to prior knowledge & students’ interests </li></ul><ul><li>Compare results before and after tests </li></ul>
  20. 21. State Standardized Tests Measure annual growth Not as useful for informing classroom instruction on weekly basis
  21. 22. Video Letters and Sounds Mark Hopkins Elementary School, Sacramento CA
  22. 23. Video highlights Student engaged to follow specific instruction Student performs literacy task Teacher keeps record of strengths and needs
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 26. When Native Language Literacy Is Not Available in the Classroom <ul><li>Gather Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parents, community members, networking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide Scaffolding in the Classroom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplified English language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforce oral directions with written ones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visuals, manipulatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperative learning, games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce students’ anxiety & stress </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Assessment That Promotes Learning <ul><li>Not just auditing learning </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnosing strengths and needs </li></ul><ul><li>Providing specific feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive & productive feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not just a grade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add constructive comments </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Sharing Expectations with Students <ul><li>Ideas to try: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use wall charts, tables, graphs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use symbols to reduce language load </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use color coding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use student-friendly checklists for reading skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student/teacher conferences </li></ul></ul>Essential for self-monitoring
  28. 29. Informing Both Parents & Students Share learning goals, objectives, and assessment results Enable students to hit the learning target
  29. 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
  30. 31. Involving Parents Native language resources Provide child’s history Need to know learning goals & assessment expectations Can support literacy in the home
  31. 32. Summary Need variety of assessments Need to involve parents Need state legislation requiring teacher assessment literacy L. V. Pierce, George Mason University
  32. 33. Thank you for watching!