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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Standardized Testing of ELLs - For or Against?

    Hello Everyone!

    I am currently working as a Kindergarten Special Education Teaching while getting my Masters in English Language Learning and Teaching. This is my first post on a public, professional forum. In my current course, we have been discussing various assessment strategies for English Language Learners. One of our more recent class discussions focused on the advantages and disadvantages of standardized testing in regards to assessing ELLs. As a class, we agreed that the disadvantages of standardized testing of ELLs outweigh the advantages. Many of our discussions focused on the issue that standardized tests are not designed for culturally and linguistically diverse learners and therefore can present a unique set of challenges for ELLs. Others noted that standardized testing does not allow for the modifications and flexibility necessary for meeting the learning needs of both ELLs and CLD students. As a class, we agreed that standardized testing does not provide educators with a true representation of the abilities of ELLs, and therefore does little to set them up for success.

    As an English Language Learner or Teacher, what is your stance on the issue of standardized testing of ELLs? If you are for standardized testing, what are some benefits in regards to aiding the learning and success of ELLs? If you are against standardized testing, what are some alternate forms of assessment that may be more successful in assessing the learning and progress of ELLs?

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, perspectives, and insights!

    Jenna

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: Standardized Testing of ELLs - For or Against?

    Standardised testing does offer a lot of administrative benefits, which is one reason for its durability.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: Standardized Testing of ELLs - For or Against?

    Thanks for your reply!

    I agree that standardized testing offers many administrative benefits. Streamlined scoring and reporting procedures make results readily available to a wide range of stakeholders. Do you know of any advantages regarding the benefits of standardized testing in aiding the learning of ELLs specifically?

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    #4

    Re: Standardized Testing of ELLs - For or Against?

    Other than the test being able to demonstrate their ability, the principle benefit would be the exportability of their results. This goes back to the old adage that you don't make a child taller by measuring their height, though this is debatable as obliging people to take tests encourages them to study. I work in tertiary education, where learners are usually very open to such testing as it gives them a chance to shine, though I can see that this shouldn't be reflected throughout the education system.

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: Standardized Testing of ELLs - For or Against?

    I really appreciate your insight! I think that standardized testing can be a tricky topic to discuss due to the fact that it presents different advantages and disadvantages depending on the population of students. In my discussion with my classmates, many people noted that standardized testing does not allow for the modifications and flexibility necessary for meeting the learning needs of both ELLs and CLD students. For example, standardized testing accommodations may allow for students to have additional time to complete the test; however, if students are struggling to read and understand the test questions, additional time may not be of much help. Do you agree that testing modifications available for ELL students are not efficient? How might educators work to better support the overall learning and success of ELLs?

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