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Assessing English Language Learners in the Content Areas

A Research-into-Practice Guide for Educators

Florin Mihai

Publication Year: 2014

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.

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

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pp. v-vi

Given today’s educational environment, it is impractical to talk about education without addressing the issues of accountability and measurement of educational goals and objectives. Current legislation in education, such as...


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pp. vii-viii

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Chapter 1. English Language Learners in the K–12 Environment in the United States

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pp. 1-21

Today’s K–12 educational environment in the United States is characterized by an ever increasing diversity of its student population. Such diversity encompasses various categories of students. For example, in mainstream classrooms, other than the general student population, there...

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Chapter 2. Assessment: Definition, Types, and General Principles

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pp. 22-48

This chapter will discuss the basic principles of assessment, with examples from the content areas to provide teachers with the knowledge that will enable them to design valid and reliable classroom-based or large-scale tests and...

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Chapter 3. Large-Scale Assessment in the Content Areas and English Language Learners

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pp. 49-90

This chapter will analyze large-scale assessment instruments in the content areas and how they address the needs of ELLs. The focus will be on test modifications and accommodation for ELLs as well as on research-based recommendations for test designers to help them develop...

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Chapter 4. Classroom-Based Assessment in the Content Areas and English Language Learners

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pp. 91-124

This chapter will discuss what classroom teachers can do to create accurate assessment tools for their ELL students. It will examine several critical issues related to language proficiency in the content areas, and it will provide classroom teachers in the content areas with useful tools for designing assessments that subscribe to all the principles of assessment:...

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Chapter 5. Alternative Assessment Approaches in Content Area Classrooms for English Language Learners

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pp. 125-143

This chapter will look at alternative assessment approaches. It will start by comparing the characteristics of alternative and traditional assessments and will continue with the analysis of three of the most popular alternative assessment instruments: performance assessment, curriculum-based...

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Chapter 6. Essential Considerations in Assessing English Language Learners

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pp. 144-147

We have examined both large-scale and classroom-based assessments for measuring content area knowledge for ELLS. We have looked at how effective the test accommodations in large-scale assessments are, and we have offered several solutions for designing better and more effective tests, not only for statewide standardized tests but...

Appendix A. Assessment Activities for Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, Adapted from the TESOL Proficiency Levels

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pp. 148-162

Appendix B. Academic Vocabulary for Math, Science, and Social Studies

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pp. 163-178


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pp. 179-186


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pp. 187-191

E-ISBN-13: 9780472120628
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472034352

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 868580338
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Assessing English Language Learners in the Content Areas

Research Areas


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