Monday, August 15, 2011

Authentic Assessments and ESL Students

Question: Why use authentic assessments with ESL students?

Answer/Quote: “We need to understand why many second-language students do not score well on formal literacy measures in English. Formal literacy measures provide a sampling of students performance. Because formal literacy tests often underestimate the reading performance of second-language students…, teachers of these students need to look beyond these tests to understand students’ literacy performance. This does not mean that formal literacy measures cannot be used, but that they need to be used cautiously and in concert with authentic assessment measures.” P. 201.

List of authentic assessments:

.classroom observation

.oral miscue analysis

.story retelling

.story telling or writing

.tape recording of oral reading

.reading logs

.reading response logs

 writing folders

.student-teacher conferences.

Comment: I began reading this booklet on teaching ESL students, thinking that there was some magic formula for working with ESL students. What I learned was that the practices recommended for use with ESL students were the same techniques that I used with students whose native language is English. The techniques need to be adapted, but they are the same techniques I use with English-speaking students. In other words, just plain good teaching. My readers will find the entire list of techniques for teaching ESL students with explanations at RayS.

Title: “Assessing the Literacy Development of Second-Language Students: A Focus on Authentic Assessment.” Georgia Earnest Garcia, pp. 180-205.  In Kids Come in All Languages: Reading Instruction for ESL Students. Eds. K Spangensberg-Urgschat and R Pritchard. Newark, DE: IRA. 1994.

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