Assessing english language learners

Even though English language learner is a better term than others, it causes controversy.

Assessing english language learners

Research-Based Practices for English Language Learners Carolyn Derby has taught either 2nd or 3rd grade for the past 10 years in a district in the Northwest.

The district she teaches in draws from a community that is both rural and suburban in character. Initially, new students were primarily Spanish speaking, although now some students speak languages such as Vietnamese, Croatian, and Russian.

I have learned a great deal in the last few years about the customs of these families and have integrated my learning into my classroom, but I still worry that I may not be using the best practices for teaching—especially teaching reading. She is among many teachers instructing English language learners ELLswho are found in every state in growing numbers.

Assessing english language learners

ELLs come from families with a wide range of education, from the Assessing english language learners educated to those with very limited or no formal education. They are represented in every socioeconomic level and speak more than different languages, although Spanish is the home language for at least 75 percent of these students.

Despite these differences, researchers have identified effective instructional and assessment practices for beginning readers who are ELLs.

As with all reading instruction, the ultimate goals are reading for understanding, learning, and interest.

In the early grades, with most students, the focus is on moving to meaning after assuring that students have foundational skills such as phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary. How do these goals differ for English language learners?

The broad goals of reading are the same for all students. An additional goal with ELLs is to simultaneously build oral language skills. While building oral language skills is important with all students, it is even more essential for English language learners.

Although we do not include a chapter dedicated exclusively to oral language, ways of building oral language are referred to in each chapter and are integrated into the activities. Many ELLs are learning a new language as they acquire and develop literacy skills, especially vocabulary, in English.

The integration of practices for English as a second language ESL with effective reading instructional practices can provide students the support they need to develop both language and literacy skills in a cohesive manner. These similarities provide researchers and educators a starting point in identifying effective instructional practices in the teaching of reading.

After reviewing 33 studies of effective or exemplary schooling for ELLs, August and Hakuta identified seven classroom attributes associated with positive student outcomes. In these studies, teachers provided explicit skill instruction, student-directed activities, instructional strategies that enhanced understanding, opportunities to practice, systematic student assessment, and a balanced curriculum either alone or in combination.

Often these practices were integrated to enhance student learning.

Assessing english language learners

Although not specific to reading instruction, these practices can be used in the teaching of reading. More recently, an observational study conducted in 20 classrooms serving English language learners from 10 language groups identified a variety of reading instructional practices used by effective classroom teachers of ELLs.

Effective teachers—those whose students had the strongest academic outcomes—used effective instructional practices such as explicit teaching, monitoring student progress, and opportunities to practice.

Which instructional practices should you incorporate into teaching reading to ELLs? We will describe three broad instructional practices, explicit teaching, providing practice, and adjusting the language of instruction, which are integrated into the lessons in this book found at the ends of Chapters 2—6.

Explicit instruction refers to task-specific, teacher-led instruction that overtly demonstrates how to complete a task and can be used to teach students both basic and higher-order reading skills.

Elements of explicit teaching include setting and articulating learning goals, illustrating or modeling how to complete a task, and assessing student understanding and ability to complete the task independently Tikunoff, Explicit skill instruction has been shown to be effective with ELLs who are in the beginning stages of learning to decode English texts.

Explicit instruction assists students in identifying and using the structural and visual cues present in words. English language learners can use unique features of words, word patterns, or similarities to other known words as an aid in decoding unknown words Au, Teachers who teach explicitly also make relationships obvious among concepts, words, or ideas to help students see the link between prior learning and new learning.

During reading instruction, for instance, you might remind students of the meaning of a particular vocabulary word in a different context, extend their knowledge by providing additional meanings of multiple-meaning words, or help them see similarities in previously learned spelling patterns.

Another example is to teach a new concept such as subtle word distinctions—say, the differences among downpour, drizzle, and sprinkle to describe the fall of precipitation. A teacher who teaches a skill explicitly—by modeling, explaining, and demonstrating the skill in context—provides students insight into the thinking processes metacognition that proficient readers use.

The teacher models skills and strategies step by step, provides students opportunities to practice, and teaches students to use the skills and strategies independently. For example, in teaching students to make predictions prior to reading a text, you would first tell students what you are going to do and why.Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners: A Teacher's Guide to Research-Based Practices [Nancy Cloud, Fred Genesee, Else Hamayan] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Teaching English Language Learners to read and write is . "Assessing English Language Learners: Bridges to Educational Equity lays out a much needed practical process for instructional professionals to design equitable access to educational opportunity for English learners!


Using Informal Assessments for English Language Learners; Ongoing assessments are particularly important for English language learners (ELLs). and other content areas somewhat independently of their level of English proficiency.

The following assessment techniques can help you adapt assessments to reduce English language difficulties. Videos. This collection of videos provides teachers of English language learners with an introduction to understanding language proficiency and using the Benchmarks.

Teaching English Language Learners to Read. Featuring Diane August, Margarita Calderón, and Fred Genesee discussing best practices for teaching English language learners. Seeing growth and improvement can be a huge motivator for ELL students..

But you can’t see growth if you don’t measure it. That’s why no great class is complete without some way of assessing students. Not only is it a fantastic way for both you and your students to see what they’ve learned, but you can also use the results to help you plan future lessons.

Videos – Supporting English Language Learners