This course explores the legal history and politics surrounding language assessment and the different test structures and methods used to assess English language learners. Participants will examine how standardized tests are used to measure language proficiency and academic achievement. With that framework in place, participants will explore how to specifically assess listening, speaking, reading, and writing, both individually and in an integrated fashion. Participants will also examine test taking issues and strategies and will look at how technology can be used in assessment. Special needs students will also be addressed.
Participants will be able to:
- Understand technical concepts about testing: accountability and standardized achievement tests; normed and criterion-referenced tests; validity and reliability; language proficiency; and authentic/performance-based assessment evaluation.
- Distinguish among traditional vs other test formats, and will have cognitive knowledge of the key strengths and weaknesses of traditional formats, and key test-taking strategies for ELLs.
- Identify common characteristics of informal assessments, use a model for organizing classroom assessment, and be familiar with some common types of informal/classroom assessment.
- Understand the process of creating and evaluating portfolios to assess English Language Learners, and apply rubrics to reading, writing, listening, and speaking tasks.
- Understand the concept of integration of language skills, and be able to describe common methods of assessing reading, writing, listening and speaking, and a variety of ways of eliciting speech for assessment.
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