ETS to Develop a Formative Reading Assessment for English Language Learners
- Jason Baran
- Jason Baran
Princeton, N.J. (July 12, 2010) —
Educational Testing Service will develop a formative assessment of academic reading comprehension for English-language learners through a four-year, $1.35 million grant recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.
ELL students deal with the dual challenges of acquiring English-language proficiency to handle academic materials and learning curriculum content. At the higher grade levels, the increased complexity of course materials presents an increasingly difficult learning context. This project will develop and validate a classroom-based, formative assessment of academic reading for ELL students in middle school.
"States have been implementing assessments to measure the English-language proficiency development of English-language learners," ETS Research Scientist and project lead Mikyung Wolf explains, "but there is a lack of assessments to inform teaching and learning for ELL students' English development on an ongoing basis."
The resulting formative assessment tool will consist of a set of assessment forms specifically designed for use with ELLs. Use of the assessments will be supported by a web-based score reporting tool and guidelines to support the use of the assessments in instruction.
Working with Wolf on the project is the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing at the University of California, Los Angeles. CRESST Assistant Director for Professional Development Margaret Heritage adds that "the assessments will provide much-needed resources for teachers to inform instruction and to meet the language learning needs of their students."
"English language learners represent the fastest growing segment of the K – 12 school-age population in the United States," says Ida Lawrence, ETS Senior Vice President for Research & Development. "In order to improve the overall academic performance of students in our schools, we need tools such as the one ETS and CRESST will develop through this effort."
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org