Assessing English Language Learners
The District Student Progression Plan is the basis for making decisions pertaining to student grading. Please refer to the section that deals with grading student performance in the District's Student Progression Plan.
Like other students, the knowledge and skills of ELL students in Sarasota County schools are assessed in a variety of ways.
Classroom assessments for ELL students should be a mix of modified traditional measures and alternative assessments (such as performance assessments and portfolios). The focus should be on documenting individual student growth over time, rather than on comparing ELL students with native-English-speaking peers. Such assessments emphasize measurement of what ELL students know and can produce over time as their English proficiency improves. The teacher of an ELL student should consider the student's language proficiency, cultural background, educational background, grade level, and developmental level. For assistance in classroom assessment and grading, refer to our comprehensive list of classroom assessment strategies and modifications.
Statewide standardized assessments, The administration of these assessments is governed by state law and regulation. The School Board of Sarasota County does not exempt ELL students from taking these assessments.
Classroom Assessments & Grades for ELL Students
As with all assessment, testing and grading of ELL students require valid measurement of a learner's growth. The following are recommended:
- drawings & models
- oral tests
- projects (individual and group)
- teacher observation
- lower and higher cognitive demand
CALLA - Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach
- content-based language activities
- emphasizing academic vocabulary
- emphasizing study skills
- note-taking skills
- teaching learning strategies
Modified traditional assessment
- dictionary allowed
- extended time
- flexible setting
- labeling & fill-ins
- modified length
- modified number of questions
- open-note, open-book
- reduction of non-essential text
- word banks
Native language support
- bilingual aide
- bilingual dictionary support
- native language assessment
Classroom Modifications for ELL students
Teachers of ELL students can use the following approaches to improve the comprehensibility of daily instruction and support students in the content areas as they acquire English. These styles and strategies of teaching and learning are meant to increase the amount of meaningful communicative instruction and learning in the classroom.