What types of assessments are appropriate for ELL students?
There are currently about 5 million English Language Learners (ELL) in the United States. 1 out of every 9 students in U.S. classrooms are ELL students who are still developing proficiency in the English language.
Due to the passage of the "No Child Left Behind" Act in 2001, it is important to produce valid testing for ELL students. All assessments measure language proficiency to some degree, and therefore ELL students may tend to receive lower scores. There is no perfect method for developing a "fair" test, but here are a few tips that help make the assessment more reasonable.
Test directions should be designed to maximize clarity and minimize potential for confusion. Language should be simplified in directions and questions as much as possible. Using easy vocabulary and keeping sentence structures simple are good methods of increasing test clarity. It has been found that using school-based context for test items can also help ELL students. Finally non-written assessments are another option that can improve understanding.
If you are a ELL student looking to improve your proficiency in the English language, we offer serveral online courses for you. I would highly recommend considering this one: English for Speakers of Other Languages. If you are a teacher desiring to learn more about teaching English as a second language, we have courses for you as well such as Teaching English as a Second Language. Finally if you are looking to get your degree in ELL studies we have several options for you such as Bachelor of Arts in English Language Learner Studies.
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