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Current Trends in English Language Testing (CTELT)
November 1 – 2, 2007
CTELT 2007 Presentations by Jessica Nelson
How to reliably, validly, and fairly assess the language proficiency of students learning English as an additional language has long been a topic of considerable debate. In the United States and elsewhere around the globe, the controversy has become even greater in recent years as standards-based assessments for this and other populations of students have been legislated.
This plenary offered one educator and test developer's perspective on issues related to English language proficiency assessment in the K-12 environment. Where does a test developer begin, and how can state governments collaborate, when charged with creating a reliable and valid standards-based assessment of English language proficiency for a half-million primary and secondary students with diverse language backgrounds and educational experiences? What might the role of these students teachers be in developing the actual tests? How can a measure of English proficiency become a tool for increasing language skills and academic achievement for language-minority students? These questions, as asked and addressed by the U.S.-based Center for Applied Linguistics in its work with the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium, along with some of the research and possible future directions for language proficiency in K-12 schools, were explored.
Time and location: TBD
Test development can provide or lead to opportunities for authentic professional development for the teachers of the English learners who ultimately take the tests. This interactive workshop first gave a brief background on how the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium and the Center for Applied Linguistics expanded from K-12 test development to teacher training. Participants had the opportunity to rate and discuss samples of large-scale, standards-based Speaking and Writing test items by applying scoring rubrics. Finally, we discussed how some test development and rating principles might apply to classroom-based formative assessment for English learners.
Time and location: TBD
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