This course presents tools for assessing English as a Second Language (ESL) learners. Although some assessments are better than others and any assessment is only as informative as the person interpreting the results, a solid understanding of the following topics provides a background for assessing ESL students:
- Laws and federal mandates that have shaped assessment for ESL learners
- Assessments and assessment items in terms of linguistic and cultural appropriateness
- Measures of academic English proficiency level and the alignment of instruction with English Language Development standards
- Evidence used for determining goals, accommodations, progress, and recommendations for instructing ESL students, including those who are learning disabled or gifted
The course project, Assessment for ESL Learners: A Training for Teachers, requires candidates to create a training program for teachers or administrators from the candidate's own district on the topic of ESL assessment in its various forms. Analyzing assessments in terms of linguistic and cultural appropriateness, candidates develop a language acquisition plan for an ESL student as well as methods for identifying giftedness and learning disabilities.
This course includes field-based activities that take place in a K-12 school/district community setting.
Course Learning Objectives
- Describe legally compliant ESL student assessment procedures and data reporting.
- Evaluate ESL assessments in terms of linguistic and cultural appropriateness.
- Develop and utilize standards-aligned English language proficiency assessments for ESL students.
- Compile a body of evidence, and evaluate and use it in creating a language acquisition plan.
- Check for understanding and adjust instruction for ESL students.
- Analyze practices for determining and using accommodations for ESL students on content mastery assessments.
- Create a tool to guide thinking in determining if an ESL student has a learning disability.
- Collect and analyze data for use in determining if an ESL student is a gifted learner.