Monday, October 8, 2012

Accurate Assessment for English Learners


English learners (EL) have difficulties in reading, writing, speaking and understanding the English language.  There are many factors a teacher should consider when developing assessments and accommodations for ELs.  Teachers should assess their EL students by their proficiency level.  Since there are varying levels of proficiency amongst ELs, teachers should differentiate using the i + 1 format when considering instruction and assessment strategies for the EL.  For example, if the student is an early intermediate english learner, the instruction and assessments should be at the level of intermediate to challenge the EL to surpass their current proficiency level.  Differentiate instruction, activities and assessments for the EL while considering equity for the other students.   Providing multiple opportunities in multiple ways to demonstrate what they know is one strategy that can be used to assess the EL.  For example, having the EL create a portfolio or perform a task may be a better way for the EL to demonstrate proficiency than writing as essay.  Since assessments are an important part of literacy instruction, providing the EL with appropriate assessments and feedback is critical for a positive learning outcome.

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