Evaluating the Structure of Academic English Language Operationalized in an English Language Development Assessment

12:25 - 1:55pm

Convention Center, Terrace IV (400 level)

Presented at: AERA 2014

This study examined the underlying structure of academic English language (AEL) from the perspective of the theoretical framework of five standards of English language development (ELD) in the content areas (i.e., social and instructional language, language of English language arts, language of mathematics, language of science, and language of social studies). Results were compared to a model based on the four language domains, and the added information from the standards above and beyond the domains was evaluated. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses across grades and proficiency levels revealed that the standards may not be distinguishable once the four domains have been accounted for, especially for English language learners of low proficiency. Implications for researchers, assessment professionals, and teachers are discussed.