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February 09 , 2010

Assessing English Language Learners in the Content Areas

A Research-into-Practice Guide for Educators


Assessing English Language Learners in the Content Areas: A Research-into-Practice Guide for Educators seeks to provide guidance to classroom teachers, staff developers, and test-item designers who want to improve ELL assessment outcomes, particularly in the areas of math, science and social studies. The first two chapters of the book establish the background for the discussion of content-area assessment for ELLs, examining several important characteristics of this rapidly growing student population (as well as critical legislation affecting ELLs) and providing a description of various forms of assessment, including how ELL assessment is different from the assessment of English-proficient students. Important assessment principles that educators should use in their evaluation of tests or other forms of measurement are provided. Other chapters review ELL test accommodations nationwide (because, surprisingly, most teachers do not know what they can and cannot allow) and the research on the effectiveness of these types of accommodations. The book analyzes the characteristics of alternative assessment; it discusses three popular alternative assessment instruments (performance assessment, curriculum-based measurement, and portfolios) and makes recommendations as to how to increase the validity, reliability, and practicality of alternative assessments. The book proposes fundamental assessment practices to help content area teachers in their evaluation of their ELL progress.
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