Assessment

Students’ lack of English proficiency will affect test performance when tests are given only in English. It is also necessary to consider how students’ cultural backgrounds and previous experiences might affect their ability or willingness to participate in an assessment activity. “Because schooling practices tend to conform more or less to middle-class European-American experiences and values, students from other cultural backgrounds may be mis-assessed by virtue of cultural and other experiential differences.” (Peregoy & Boyle, 1997, page 93) Therefore, assessment practices should allow students to show what they know in a variety of ways.

  • When creating assessments, consider the diversity of students’ cultural, linguistic and special needs (Peregoy & Boyle, 1997).
  • Use a variety of assessments in a variety of formats including small-group work, individual activities, drawing pictures, creating posters, engaging in interviews, constructing portfolios, journal writing, projects, and self-assessment. (See these links for a discussion of assessment in CMP and how teachers use the assessments.)
  • Be clear and consistent with grading systems and standards. Rubrics are excellent tools for itemizing the criteria on which students will be assessed and helping students understand what is expected from them (Richard-Amato & Snow, 2005).
  • Peer clear and consistent with grading systems and standards. Rubrics are excellent tools for itemizing the criteria on which students will be assessed and helping students understand what is expected from them (Richard-Amato & Snow, 2005).
  • Often ELL students get so bogged down in the reading comprehension that they never get to the mathematics. It will be much more meaningful and productive for the students if they are assigned 5 or 6 well-designed exercises (and they’ll be more motivated to try them), rather than a page or two of 10 to 20 exercises. 
  • Allow sufficient time for all students to complete the assessment.