Lorraine Valdez Pierce, discussing effective classroom strategies for assessing English language learners. For general information about our webcasts or to be part of our studio audience in Washington D. This webcast is made possible by AFT Teachers, a division of the American Federation of Teachers, as part of a Colorín Colorado partnership between Reasons why students don’t achieve mastery of state standards pdf and Reading Rockets.
This 45-minute webcast is a thorough introduction to assessment for teachers of English language learners. Lorraine Valdez Pierce will also provide practical advice on how ESL and classroom teachers can collaborate when assessing English language learners and making decisions based on those assessments. Tips on record keeping and rubrics are also included. Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. She is the Vice President of the Center for Community Educational Excellence at the National Council of La Raza. The articles and books below were chosen by Reading Rockets to help you learn more about this issue.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Reading Rockets’ sister site features information for families and educators of English language learners. Discover how to bridge the gap between equitably assessing linguistic and academic performance. This well-documented text examines the unique needs of English language learners and describes strategies for implementing instructional assessment of language and content. An authoritative reference for teachers facing an increasingly diverse school population that provides pre-service and in-service teachers, curriculum specialists, teacher mentors, and administrators with the necessary tools to meet the educational needs of English language learners in an inclusive classroom. For a teacher who speaks only English, having students who speak another language can be a daunting prospect.
Discuss ways that assessment can promote learning. Generate your own definition of “performance-based classroom assessment. Share strategies you currently use that encourage students to monitor their own learning. How do a child’s native language literacy skills help them acquire literacy skills in a second language?
Is there a system in place at your school to assess native language literacy skills? Welcome to this year’s first Colorín Colorado webcast. Today, we’re going to talk about assessment for English language learners. Lorraine Valdez Pierce is here to help us.
She’s coordinator of the ESL Teacher Licensure Program at the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Pierce, before we talk about assessment, tell us a little bit about English language learners, some of the characteristics that make teaching — make teaching them challenging. Well, there are three big areas that make teaching English language learners challenging. The three areas are language, culture, and previous educational experience. So when it comes — when we’re talking about assessment, language is right up there as one of the big three with regard to the difference in language between the language that they speak and the language that they’re being assessed or tested in.
Then there’s culture, which will maybe lead to some differences in classroom behavior from what native speakers would be producing or preparing. But then there’s also the parental role. When parents come from different cultures they may be less eager to run and participate in the American public school system. And then finally, the previous educational experience that these children bring may include literacy, or not literacy. And this is a very important variable in assessing students. You’ve brought up lots of characteristics.
Could you go back and define — give us a little more information on each one. Language, could you define how that would be different? What we would see there. What a teacher might see. Well, children who speak English as a second language, or bilingual children, come from, you know, over 100, 200 different language backgrounds. And what we know is the closer the language is to English, such as a romance language, the easier it would be for that child to acquire the language. But the more distance between their language, such as Russian, or Arabic, or Turkish, the more distance there is between the written language and the spoken language and English, the more challenge there might be in learning the English language.
So that’s — and that’s the language part. The cultural part comes where children are raised in a home where they are maybe given a rather passive role, and they’re taught to also go to school and just do what the teacher tells you, and not really engage or ask questions. And so the teacher may get the impression that these children are passive, or even not interested, or not making the effort, when really it’s a cultural upbringing issue. So the culture really reflects the styles of the different children and what their family values and what childrearing styles.