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Program Development

Assessment & Evaluation

Assessment and evaluation are critical tasks that program staff perform in concert with learners and other stakeholders as they design and implement programs for adult English language learners. Assessment refers to the use of instruments and procedures to gather data on a regular basis for such purposes as identifying learners' needs, documenting learners' progress, or determining how program services are meeting learners' needs. Evaluation refers to the process of interpreting and analyzing assessment data at a given point in time for the purpose of improving and documenting program and learner outcomes.

Questions of what to assess and evaluate and how to do it do not have simple answers. Assessment and evaluation take place in many different contexts and for many different purposes. In a classroom or tutoring situation, learners want to know how they are progressing and teachers and tutors want to know how effective their instructional approaches and materials are. At the program level, staff is concerned about the implementation and success of the program. Local, state, and national supporters and funders are concerned with the outcomes and impact of the program. No single assessment procedure or instrument can meet the demands of each of these stakeholders, but information from a variety of assessments can provide each stakeholder with data to

answer their questions. This data can also be used to help design, modify, and improve programs.

Please see the CAELA resources and links below for more information.


Using the ESL Program Standards to Evaluate and Improve Adult ESL Programs

Digests, and Q&As

Issues in Accountability and Assessment in Adult ESL

Needs Assessment for Adult ESL Learners

Valid, Reliable, and Appropriate Assessments for Adult English Language Learners

Other CAELA Resources

Assessing Adult English Language Learners (from Practitioner Toolkit)

Assessment and Accountability in Programs for Adult English Language Learners: What Do We Know? What Do We Have in Place? What Do We Need? (Proceedings Of 2003 symposium)

Assessment with Adult English Language Acquisitions (CAELA Fact Sheet)

Assessment and Evaluation in Adult ESL (CAELA Resource Collection)

Content Standards and Adult ESL (annotated bibliography)

Program Standardards and Adult ESL (annotated bibliography)

English Language Assessment Instruments for Adults Learning English (from Practitioner Toolkit)