Assessing English Language Learners
Assessing English Language LearnersGrand Canyon University: ESL 523July 15, 2015Assessing English Language LearnersThe Conducting of Assessment and Placement of English Language LearnersThe class that I observed is at a church and is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm or later if a student needs help. The class run for five weeks and this one started on June 28th. The church offers free daycare for those that need it to be able to attend the classes. Each student must sign up before the class and fill out an application to attend if they can. If they cannot they can receive assistance to fill it out. The church does not charge anything for the classes. This classes are very informal and they are designed to teach the student as much of the language as they possibly can. They do try to limit their classrooms to no more than 10 students. This helps the teacher get close to her students and to help them more one on one if neededThe tests are conducted by the teacher , with the pastor in the room or one of the members of the church. They are there to make sure that no one has any issues. This helps the students that have questions about the test. The classes are for students that are refugees, students in the US on work visas for a few months to a few years. Many of the students are exchange students with various schools , including the Virginia Commonwealth University. Also the Mrs. Rilee explained that many are au pairs, as that number is growing in our area. If the student cannot pass the test, they are then asked to come back for more classes.
Ongoing Classroom and Formative AssessmentsMrs. Rilee uses an informal assessment as the class proceeds. She uses performance based assessments. She lets the class know in the beginning what she will be looking for and what they will be doing. She will use oral reports, presentations and sometimes demonstrations. She gets them to talk about their jobs, their home lives and their families. Some of the formative classroom assessments that she uses is reading partners, telling stories, or at times playing games. This gets everyone involved and they usually have fun. Just getting them to talk about what is important to them is very interesting conversations.Progress is measured in the classroom by how much the class is learning. She calls it backwards planning. She starts each class by going over what they learned in the last class. She asks questions of each student and sees how they answer it. This shows her how much they have learned and if they are struggling, she can get them more class time on another night. This is an informal class. This is a church, so they are not binding to the school district. They are here to help people in their community that need to learn English to get the better job, or to understand their boss or even their teacher better. The summative assessments that she does is based on their performance in the class. If they cannot speak better each class and are understand the language better, then she knows they are not grasping the subject. So she will meet with them in private and see if maybe more classes is needed to help them.