Practical tools, activities, and resources
to guide instruction


How Is Adult Oral Language Proficiency Assessed?

Students and teacher in a classroomLanguage assessment and instruction go hand in hand. Whether they realize it or not, teachers are continually assessing student understanding, making instructional decisions, adapting activities, and re-evaluating their instructional plans.

Effective English language instruction for adults is guided by questions such as:

  • Why do adult English language learners attend adult education classes?
  • What do adult English language learners need to know and be able to do in English?
  • How and why do we measure what adult English language learners need to know and be able to do?
  • How do assessments of adult English language proficiency relate to what happens in and outside of the classroom?

Language assessment can be used for program intake and placement, to determine gaps in content knowledge and language skills, to measure student progress, to provide feedback, to help students develop or review learning goals, to evaluate program and instruction quality, and to provide accountability data to funding agencies.


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