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Sample Processes for Assessing Language Proficiency

Each school needs to create its own process for teachers to assess English language learners. Depending on the number of English language learners in the classroom or school:

  • teachers may assess the English language learners in their own classrooms 
  • teachers may take responsibility for assessing a particular group of students who they work with, and share the results of the assessment with other teachers working with these particular students.

Involving English language learners in their own assessment of English language proficiency enhances both the process and results of the assessment.

For example, in a junior high with 125 English language learners out of total population of 500 one strategy for organizing assessment could involve:

  • Teachers work in pairs to assess eight students who they both teach, either collaboratively completing the assessment or each teacher completing the assessment for four of the students
  • At the same time, writing samples are gathered for English language learners by the social studies, science, mathematics and language arts teachers as part of regular assignments and are shared with the assessing teachers.
  • During the scheduled staff collaboration time, the pairs of teachers review the assessment information for their eight students, including the writing samples
  • The teachers complete the Benchmarks to share information on the overall English language proficiency of the eight students with the other teachers who work with these students.
  • Teachers also share their observations with the students and confirm and/or adjust their benchmark assessments.