Standardized Tests with ELLs

<b> Forum for the discussion of assessment and testing of ESL/EFL students </b>

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Standardized Tests with ELLs

Post by soesch » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:43 am

I am currently a student at Arcadia University, in Pennsylvania. I am an Elementary Education major and am taking my first ESL class this semester. In many of my education classes we have discussed assessments and accommodations/modifications which can be used for various students. I was curious though about ELLs and state standardized tests. Since all students must take such test, how as a teacher could I prepare my ELLs for them? Also I was wondering what others views were of testing ELLs with the state standardized tests?

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Post by Donnetta » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:30 pm

As an ESL teacher I do not feel that standardized testing is fair to most ELLs. Just because they do not understand the wording/words of the test questions and thus get the answers wrong does not mean that they do not have knowledge of the subject area being tested. There is often a language barrier that prevents them from showing exactly what they know in the content area. But no matter how upset we become about the unfairness of them taking the tests, it will not take away the fact that students still have to take these standardized tests, so we must prepare our ELLs for them. Doing this is actually a big part of what ESL is about, especially for middle and high school ESL students who must learn to study and prepare for tests, and in class activities in their content classes. We have to teach them study skills like skimming, preveiwing, reading for the main ideas, taking notes, using context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words, etc. Knowing how to do these things brings them success not only in their content classes but on the standardized tests as well.

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