Instructors need to “assess student by their [proficiency] level” so that teachers can include grouping students by their assessed English Level when considering instruction and assessments. (Dutro & Kinsella, pg. 170). Language learning should be paramount for EL students by “crafting instruction that results in both accuracy and fluency.” (Dutro & Kinsella, pg. 178)Assess students based on academic language use, curriculum content knowledge, and higher-level thinking skills. Chamot & O'Mally (pp. 62-63) recommend balanced assessments based on the following:
· Metacognitive planning (organization, attention and self-management), monitoring (comprehension and production), and evaluation (self-assessment, reflection)
· Cognitive (resourcing, grouping, note-taking, elaboration, summarizing, deduction, imagery, auditory, inferences)
· Social/affective (questioning, cooperation, and self-talk)Discussing assessing English-language (EL) learners helps me to consider all of my students. Once I start to distinguish activities, instruction, and assessment for one student, I start to consider equity for all students. English speakers have differentiation needs and proficiency levels for assessments as well. I picture my student with cerebral palsy, my AD/HD students, my English speakers—the advanced, the struggling, the kinesthetic, the detached, the engaged, the overachiever, the ELs born in the United States, the ELs born in Mexico and Vietnam, and more.
Chamot, A. & O'Mally, J. (1994). The CALLA Approach. Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach, Boston. Ma.
Dutro, S. & Kinsella, K. Improving Education for English Learners: Research-based Approaches. (Chapter 3) English Language Development: Issues and Implementation at Grades Six Through Twelve.