285. Re: ESL assessment for K-5. I'm in Hong Kong at a large international school. Can you recommend a few ESOL assessment tools that we might look at? This is for K-5 level. Thanks for any ideas you might have. I've taught ESOL for 18 years and none of the schools I've worked at have ever used more than very rudimentary assessment programs. If you have names/web pages/info...that would be best.
There is not enough incentive ($$$$) in K-5 ESOL assessment development because decisions are NOT critical at the elementary school level within federal education guidelines in the USA, nor the education systems of any states I am familiar with.
Usually, for elementary-level testing, pictures are the basis of most assessments available for Identification of the Language Proficiency Level for purposes of initial placement. For example, the State of California uses a series of state-approved tests --such as the Language Assessment Scale (LAS)-- based primarily on pictures. There are others more complicated to administer. But at the elementary level, there are many issues that MAY interfere with the testing procedures --shyness of young children, familiarity of testee with assessor, cultural background of the assessor, fear of the testing situation, inattentiveness, etc.
My suggestion to you is to simply design a test (Pre-/Post-test) based primarily ON YOUR CURRICULUM. What do you expect children (K-5) to be able to do at the end of one academic year or grade-level? You may use pictures based on content area concepts, you may use objects, experiences, etc., that students will receive during the academic year. Unobtrusive testing methods are BEST at this level -- You may design a brief OBSERVATION Matrix -- what should the student be able to talk about, respond to, say or read/write at the end of an academic year? Then, plan your observations and get your results.
The State of California -- Department of Education, may have various tests listed within their "Compliance" Unit in their Web Site. Because students MUST be tested in English in this state, there are some tests being prepared. BUT, again, what do these tests really tell YOU in terms of YOUR Program and Curriculum? Standardized tests are NOT what you need, if I understand your question.
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