FloridaTeacher Standards for ESOL
FloridaTeacher Standards for ESOL
Ina curriculum based on certain standards, all the students, and inparticular the English Language Learners (ELLs), demanding cognitiveand academic requirements that run across content areas. In orders tosuccessfully and fully participate in schools, most of ELLssimultaneously begin to learn and acquire English LanguageProficiency (ELP), and later achieve academic excellence across allthe content areas. It is important to note that two examples oflanguage proficiency are needed for school success: the interculturaland social competence that uses English inside the class, andacademic language that is necessary to acquire the content areas suchas mathematics, science, English language arts, and social studies.Therefore, standards offer a tool that is used to define the languageat the same time ELLs’ content that is expected to them to achieve.Gottlieb (2006) advises that for ELLs to succeed in United States,both professional teaching standards for ESL and EPL standards arerequired for ELLs to achieve success therefore, the purpose of thispaper is to examine the assessment of ESOL’s testing andevaluation, and the standards that are applied by teachers forclassroom-based ELL’s assessment.
ESOL’sTesting and Evaluation
First,testing and evaluation of students is always a challenge for themajority of the teachers. ESOL (English as a Second or OtherLanguage) in Florida are no exception either. ESOL students testingmoreover, evaluation adds additional complex layers partly due toNCLB (No Child Left Behind Act), but also due to differentstandardized tests and ESOL state guidelines for the teachers(Gottlieb, 2006). By understanding better the different factors thatare involved in testing and evaluation of ESOL, it allows teachers tobe more effecting when measuring the progress of ESOL students.
Secondly,ESOL students in Florida must take annual language proficiency testand in addition, the overall state-wide exams that have beendiscussed previously. The proficiency test is used for purposes ofdemonstrating the students’ development of their English languagein four main areas: Writing, reading, speaking, and listening. NCLBis also required by the state to use the language proficiencystandards for guidance to the instructions of language development.In addition, the teachers are also required to be aware that NCLBinterpretation of the guidelines will at some point vary in everyregions of the state, and, therefore, the use of differentproficiency tests.
Third,tests can be a challenge for a number of reasons, for all thestudents that are learning English. They simply could not havedeveloped the language necessary to write the exams effectively, evenafter the 12-month exception by NCLB is over. The students could notbe familiar with the way the test is structured and as a result notbe prepared to answer the questions appropriately. Gottlieb (2006)noted that students may develop test-anxiety issues. In addition,students may not be familiar with the language that has been used inthe instructions. As a result of all this, these factors can play arole to the ability of ELLs to try their best on a more standardizedtest.
Finallyduring evaluation, the teachers can offer their help to the studentsto help them be more comfortable with the format of the test bytaking part in a number of different questions that they might comeacross during the exam. Test-anxiety issues can be dealt with beingfamiliar with the structure of the test throughout the practice eventhough all this may remove anxiety from the student completely.Gottlieb (2006) says that teachers can assist the students tounderstand that is normal to skip difficult questions and come backlater if the time to still enough. This simple strategy is used bythe teachers in Florida to assist the students to focus on provinganswers to as many questions as possible within the limited timeprovided. In addition, if at all the state of Florida, the testinstructions can be given in the native language of the student forbetter understanding and response to the questions during tests.
Tobegin with, Gottlieb (2006) noted that the teachers can experiencedifficulties evaluating and assessing ELL’s student s progressinside the classrooms. Again, the use of English language can be aproblem during assessment although simple accommodations employed canbe employed by the teachers. As a result of this, classroom-basedassessment should include: Allowing ELL students to translate thelanguage especially during lab and projects assessments. Again, theyshould allow the use of electronic picture dictionaries, word-to-wordtranslators, and in addition, make comprehensively the use of studybuddies support and cooperative groups.
Secondly,classroom-based assessment also involves simple strategies such aspreparing students to take test. Gottlieb (2006) says that there isno necessary need to create new tests for the ELLs. Teachers are onlyrequired to make adjustments to already existing test assessmentsthat will assist ELLs to perform better. The teachers should begin byfirst going through the test to mark important phrases and terms,which grab the attention of ELL to those phrases and terms. This willbe followed by reading the directions carefully for betterunderstanding. The clarification of key words is important especiallyfor those ELLs whose low-level reading in English. Finally, theteachers should ensure they accommodate ELL’s students by givingthem more time for completion of the test.
Inconclusion, teachers in Florida are currently required to incorporatelessons in the assessments that are not only meant for traditionalobjectivity content but also for language objectives, especially inthe presence of ELLs inside the classrooms. These content objectivesare required to be in four domains: writing, reading, speaking, andlistening. This could help an ESL teacher that collaborates withmainstream teachers to assist to teach language objectives duringlesson and test assessments.
Gottlieb,M. (2006). Assessing English Language Learners, bridges from languageproficiency to academic achievement. Florida: Corwin Press