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ISSUES &ANSWERS R E L 2 0 07– N o .

014

English language
At Pacific Resources for
Education and Learning
proficiency
assessment in the
Pacific Region

U.S. D e p a r t m e n t o f E d u c a t i o n

ISSUES & ANSWERS R E L 2 0 0 7 – N o . 0 14

At Pacific Resources for
Education and Learning

English language proficiency
assessment in the Pacific Region
June 2007

Prepared by
Don Burger, EdD
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
Rodrigo Mauricio
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
Jennifer Ryan
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning

U.S. D e p a r t m e n t o f E d u c a t i o n

014). DC: U. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names. This report is available on the regional educational laboratory web site at http://ies. state.. J. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U. Government. & Ryan.S. (2007).gov/ncee/edlabs. June 2007 This report was prepared for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) under Contract ED-06-CO-0024 by Regional Educa- tional Laboratory Pacific administered by Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. it should be cited as: Burger. Department of Education. All Issues & Answers reports meet Institute of Education Sciences standards for scientifically valid research. Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific. parents.gov/ncee/edlabs.S. and regional levels. Washington. as identified through lab outreach and requests for assistance from policymakers and educa- tors at state and local levels and from communities. commercial products. English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region (Issues & Answers Report. businesses. families. R. Mauricio.S. and youth. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary.ed. WA ME MT ND VT MN OR NH ID SD WI NY MI WY IA PA NE NV OH IL IN UT WV CA CO VA KS MO KY NC TN AZ OK NM AR SC AL GA MS LA TX AK FL HI At Pacific Resources for Education and Learning Issues & Answers is an ongoing series of reports from short-term Fast Response Projects conducted by the regional educa- tional laboratories on current education issues of importance at local. Retrieved from http:// ies. Fast Response Project topics change to reflect new issues.. .ed. This report is in the public domain. or organizations imply endorsement by the U. REL 2007–No. Institute of Education Sciences. D.

language proficiency standards and assess- tent standards. . Children often do not receive several Pacific Region jurisdictions sustained exposure to English until they begin are developing English language formal schooling. The freely associated states students in their school systems. The results provide an opportunity to share information across jurisdictions about Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 approaches to English language proficiency requires that all students in a school. Hawai‘i. REL Pacific arts. Others are working on con. in schools across the region. arts. each jurisdiction where English is not the dominant language. Guam. and have expressed interest in surveyed each jurisdiction. tion about the existence and implementation ficiency standards but lack formal of standards and assessments and future plans assessment mechanisms. and the Commonwealth of the Northern because all jurisdictions within its service Mariana Islands) use home-language surveys. has an official language or languages other tify English language learners. Federated English is used as a language of instruction States of Micronesia. including language ment across the Pacific Region. This mandate is of special To identify English language learners. region have large numbers of English lan. iii Summary English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region Using various approaches to iden. and science beginning with school year 2007/08. and Republic of Palau). Although (Republic of the Marshall Islands. for them. than English. risdictions (American Samoa. proficiency standards and assess- ments aligned with those stan. mathematics. including standards and assessment and provide insights English language learners. Some also use commercially available tests guage learners or limited English proficiency and ethnicity data. gathering informa- developing English language pro. take the same state into critical needs in the region that can be academic assessments in reading/language used to guide future program activities. ratory for the Pacific Region (REL Pacific). four ju- concern to the Regional Educational Labo. To find out about the current status of English dards.

off-the-shelf among jurisdictions. developed assessments have not been con- textualized to the Pacific Region or aligned June 2007 . Department of Education The Pacific Region jurisdictions are continu. provision of Pacific The other jurisdictions do not have formal Resources for Education and Learning ser- assessment mechanisms. Guam.iv Summary do not categorize English language learners as with local standards. English language proficiency standards. Department of Education.S. Learning. Pacific Resources for Education and systems. and a consortium of the American ciency standards and aligned assessments. tests to assess English language proficiency. and the Northern Mariana Is. The freely and develop culturally appropriate English associated states have completed or are work. the students makes using these assessments impossible. including language English language proficiency standards for arts. the Guam Hawai‘i is awaiting approval of its English Public School System. The commercially vices. including English language profi.S. support from the U. The U. American ana Islands Public School System an Enhanced Samoa. Guam. and have expressed interest in developing each education agency. This process of developing English language American Samoa. In most jurisdictions a separate population subgroup and so have no the cost of testing more than 80 percent of formal processes to identify them. language proficiency assessments aligned with ing on content standards. and additional research. has awarded the Hawai‘i Department of Edu- ing to develop their educational accountability cation. and the proficiency standards and assessments could Northern Mariana Islands have used or are be greatly facilitated through collaboration using commercially developed. Assessment Grant that enables them to test lands are preparing their standards. Samoa Department of Education. Hawai‘i. and the Northern Mari- language proficiency standards.

v Table of contents Summary   iii Overview   1 The three research questions   2 What methods are used to identify English language learners?   2 What stage of completion of English language proficiency standards has each jurisdiction reached?   4 What forms of English language proficiency assessment are in place?   5 Recommendations for services and programs   6 Develop clear language development policies   6 Review content standards   7 Collect student information   7 Develop programs to address the specific needs of English language learners   7 Conduct research   7 Provide professional development   8 Next steps   8 Develop a Pacific assessment consortium   8 Conduct a randomized control trial of the Pacific-CHILD professional development program   8 Notes   9 Appendix A  Study questions and data collection methodology   10 Appendix B  Status of English language proficiency (ELP) standards and assessment: interview questions   13 References   14 Boxes 1 Some key terms   2 2 How the study was conducted   3 Tables 1 Percentage of English language learners in total student population in Pacific Region jurisdictions   4 A1 Compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001   12 .

and assessments. identify English public schools. standards but lack The Pacific Region jurisdictions are continuing to formal assessment develop their educational accountability systems.) These Region jurisdictions mandates are of special concern to the Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific. including English language proficiency standards mechanisms. The freely as- expressed interest in sociated states (Republic of the Marshall Islands. (See box 1 for definitions of key terms. and have Mariana Islands) use home-language surveys to identify English language learners. Hawai‘i is awaiting approval of its English language proficiency standards. including English language language learners. Guam. and the Commonwealth of the Northern arts. . learners. do not categorize English language learners language proficiency as a separate population subgroup. mathematics. and Republic of developing English Palau). Others across jurisdictions about approaches to English language proficiency standards and assessment are working on and provide insights into critical needs in the region that can be used to guide future program content standards. several Pacific and science beginning with school year 2007/08. and so they have no formal processes to identify them. Title I of the act requires that all students in a school. including language Four jurisdictions (American Samoa. Federated States of Micronesia. Hawai‘i. Overview 1 Overview Using various The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has approaches to focused increasing attention on the educa- tion needs of English language learners in U.S. activities. The results provide an opportunity to share information standards. where English is not the dominant lan- guage. because all the are developing jurisdictions within its service region have large numbers of English language learners or limited English language English proficiency students in their school systems. gathering information about the existence and implementation of standards and aligned with those assessments and future plans for them. REL Pacific surveyed assessments each jurisdiction. proficiency To learn about the current status of English standards and language proficiency standards and assessment across the Pacific Region. take the same state academic assess- ments in reading/language arts.

however. research.2 English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region Box 1 content area standards. productive (speaking and writing) writing. proficiency levels should be based on proficiency. the status of English language English language proficiency standards. ciency standards cover all grade levels • English language learners receive ment of these standards. English language proficiency language skills. English language profi- marks and measure student achieve. The other jurisdictions do not have formal assess- ment mechanisms. ing social and/or academic English their achievement of English language language skills. is the ability to “ef. The definition also standards outline English language may include social and academic • States establish annual measur- proficiency achievement goals. support from the U. and the Northern The three research questions Mariana Islands are preparing their standards. To achieve fectively communicate or understand English proficiency. and additional jurisdiction—the language of the home. and methods). Proficiency able achievement objectives for language proficiency standards are in a second language. Guam. including language focused on the methods used to identify English arts. using its sounds or For clarification. each jurisdictions. English language learners toward arts standards. Guam.S. provision of Pacific Resources for other than English. writing. The freely associated states have completed or are The detailed research questions guiding this study working on content standards. Titles I and III of the No Child Left speaking. according to school districts as they move not the same as reading/language Hargett (1998). (K–12) and must be linked to content instruction that uses approaches standards in reading/language arts based on scientifically sound re- English language learners are and mathematics. reading. and appendix A for details of the study questions oped tests to assess English language proficiency. certain terms that Child Left Behind Act of 2001 speci. In most cases these proficiency standards. a student must thoughts or ideas through the Some key terms have the language proficiency to com. and playground—is usually a local language.” are used throughout this report are fies that English language proficiency defined as follows: standards must address listening. • English language learners in students have learned a language grades K–12 take an annual other than English for use at home or Language proficiency comprises assessment in English language in their community. and listening. The first language in each Education and Learning services. speaking. community. . church. language’s grammatical system and prehend the subject material. Department jurisdiction has an official language or languages of Education. English (or school) language. Hawai‘i. and have expressed interest in developing language learners. The act requires Aligned assessments are associated prehension (as measured by listening that: with specific standards and bench. The No its vocabulary. Students’ English search to attain English language students in the process of acquir. and com. American proficiency standards. and the status of aligned Samoa. Behind Act of 2001. and the Northern Mariana English language proficiency assessment (see box 2 Islands have used or are using commercially devel. written symbols. and reading). What methods are used to identify English language learners? This process of developing English language proficiency standards and assessments could be Although English is used as a language of instruc- greatly facilitated through collaboration among tion in schools across the Pacific Region. receptive (reading and listening) and proficiency that covers reading. American Samoa.

Hawai‘i. Qualitative data were 1. and implement English language profi- jurisdictions: ciency assessments. why not. teachers in Pacific Region Hawai‘i administers the Language Assessment classrooms are themselves English language Scales (LAS) Links™ (CTB/McGraw-Hill. Specifically. and Republic of proficiency standards and aligned Palau). What stage of completion of all entities within Pacific Region ser. 9th ed. Children often do not receive sustained exposure to For these and other reasons each jurisdiction English until they begin formal schooling. Guam. To gather information about the Eng. the challenge is to students identified through responses to the not simply to translate lessons from their lan. ments of education throughout the and whether the assessment Pacific Region. Islands. Kosrae. and 10th and to highly qualified teachers (competent in ed. Quantitative data were gath- assessments across the service area 3. The three research questions 3 Box 2 standards each jurisdiction has Hawai‘i. experienced. Mariana Islands. and This study gathered information English language proficiency Yap]. What forms of English language ered by searching online sources of the of the Pacific Region. gathered through personal interviews are identified in each jurisdic. Federated States of Micro- tions are not planning to develop nesia [Chuuk. and the Northern Mariana Islands. the 40th percentile as having limited English and proficient in English). The number of students identified as English els of compliance with No Child Left Behind. The Northern Mariana new set of skills in a new language. the researchers surveyed review committee made up of regional 2. home-language survey to determine limited guage into English but to acquire an entirely English proficiency status. 1997. why not. English language proficiency experts English language proficiency vice region (American Samoa. For these educators. • In many cases. also contributed to the study. and if not. whether any of the jurisdic. language learners is greatly influenced by the . future plans for these standards and from the jurisdictions. Pohnpei. Guam. Islands also uses student ethnicity data to identify English language learners. with key English language proficiency tion. 2005) learners. and if and aligned assessments and about for Education and Learning contacts not. Republic of the Marshall How the study was conducted reached.. This method is used in American Samoa. Inc. • The Pacific languages are primarily oral. it proficiency assessments are in ministries of education and depart- examined: place across the jurisdictions. Commonwealth of the Northern on the status of English language standards. whether any jurisdic. implements different education policies to iden- tify English language learners. A document assessments. credentialed.. evolving. How English language learners items align with standards. proficiency. personnel and from a brief email tions are not planning to identify lish language proficiency standards survey of specific Pacific Resources English language learners. • Various jurisdictions are held to differing lev. identifying students who score below the subject matter. while American Samoa • Many schools have severely limited access to also uses the Stanford Achievement Test (Har- culturally appropriate instructional materials court Assessment.. develop English Several other factors also have implications for language proficiency standards and instructional English language proficiency in the Pacific Region practices. and The principal method used to identify English written discourse in these languages is still language learners is a home-language survey. 2004).

personal communication. and the Northern Mariana Islands. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (2007).4 English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region method of identification. Guam Public School System (2005). English only. Also. Freely Associ- ated States (2007). and are developing English language proficiency Guam. Guam. and Assessment. In the Marshall Islands. Overall. Table 1 Percentage of English language learners in total student population in Pacific Region jurisdictions Jurisdiction Less than 20 percent 20–80 percent More than 80 percent Hawai‘i ✓ Guam ✓ American Samoa ✓ Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands ✓ Republic of the Marshall Islands ✓ Federated States of Micronesia ✓ Republic of Palau ✓ Source: Hawai‘i Department of Education (2006). the language arts do not typically address the stages Federated States of Micronesia. Table 1 shows the approxi- mate percentage of English language learners in This section summarizes the state of stan- each jurisdiction. American Samoa Department of Education (2007). the student population. Associate Commissioner of Curriculum. Instruction. These jurisdictions language proficiency standards. Hawai‘i. and Assessment. a language proficiency standards. all jurisdictions are using a similar process to develop English lan- have language arts standards at either the state or guage proficiency standards aligned with language national (Federated States of Micronesia) level. nor do they include all dominant language is not English. and comprehension). students Across jurisdictions. Although tral office personnel in developing standards and none of the other jurisdictions has English standards-based assessments. speaking. What stage of completion of English language proficiency standards has each jurisdiction reached? American Samoa. personal communication. American Samoa. language learners are not considered a subgroup of writing. standards development is may be incorrectly identified as English language at various stages. In American student’s ethnicity may not reflect the language or Samoa. The difference between language have a formal mechanism to identify English arts and language proficiency standards is that language learners. listening. and Only Hawai‘i has completely developed English the Northern Mariana Islands have developed language proficiency standards (pending approval language arts content standards by grade level by the state governing body). Guam. Guam. and the Northern Mariana languages that the student uses outside of school Islands the language arts standards pertain to or the student’s English language proficiency level. the jurisdictions have learners because they do not perform well on test prioritized language arts standards over English items that are contextually inappropriate. In the freely associated states the lan- guage arts standards incorporate English and the Most jurisdictions in the Pacific Region do not local languages. . personal communication. and English of the domains of language proficiency (reading. Director of Curriculum. For example. American Samoa. and Palau the of language development. American Samoa and the Northern developing English language proficiency standards Mariana Islands have involved teachers and cen- aligned with language arts standards. Instruction. dards preparation in each of the Pacific Region jurisdictions. and the Northern Mariana Islands are standards. arts standards. and Director of Territories and Freely Associated States Educational Grant Program.

Yap and Kosrae the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Their objections include contextu- The Palau Ministry of Education has not decided ally inappropriate items. at a minimum attaining What forms of English language proficiency proficiency or better in reading/language arts and assessment are in place? mathematics. standards. there is growing support for English state or national level. that language arts assessments measure English language proficiency. and jurisdictions nor aligned with local standards. The other subject areas. do not typically measure language development or guage proficiency standards have not been all of the domains of language proficiency. language proficiency opment of Hawai‘i English Language Proficiency mercially developed tests assessments have standards for grades K–12. standards but envisions needing assistance and support if it does decide to do so. other jurisdictions do not have a formal mecha- nism to assess English language proficiency. science. difficulty with whether to develop English language proficiency implementation. proficiency. language proficiency standards. Both the Mar- shall Islands and Palau have developed standards Jurisdictions that have used commercially devel- for core academic content areas. “will become proficient in English and reach high academic standards. The three research questions 5 Hawai‘i. Jurisdictions that have language learners in public education in Hawai‘i. resulting data. Based on Most of the jurisdictions have language arts as- student performance on English language arts sessments based on language arts standards at the assessments. Chuuk has developed performance ondary Education Act of 1965. mandated have requested assistance in developing English implementation of the English Language Acqui. Hawai‘i has just approved the third Kosrae and Pohnpei have developed standards for iteration of the Hawai‘i State Content and Per. including English formance Standards. expense. neither jurisdiction has to identify English language learners or measure English language proficiency standards. dissatisfaction with these instruments and the veloping English language proficiency standards. English lan. These tests with these instruments erning body. The standards are being implemented are neither contextual- at the school level with continuing alignment with ized to the Pacific Region academic content standards in math. used or are using com. Content standards American Samoa. However. Accordingly. to assess English language expressed dissatisfaction oped and are pending approval by the state gov. These are fully devel. core academic content areas. used commercially ern Mariana Islands have developed English In school year 2004/05 Hawai‘i undertook devel. and Academic also like to develop Kosraean language proficiency Achievement Act programmatically. as amended by expectations for language arts. American Samoa piloted two commercial English . and health and states that all limited English proficiency students nutrition. The English language proficiency have expressed Marshall Islands has requested assistance in de. The Elementary and Sec. Guam. and the North. In the past year schools in for language arts are at various stages in the states. developed at either the state or national level in the Federated States of Micronesia. language arts. language arts assessments Federated States of Micronesia.” That goal guides teachers of all limited English proficiency students and English American Samoa. The Federated States of Micronesia the Hawai‘i performance goal for limited English national government has content standards for proficiency students and English language learners language arts. including English oped English language proficiency assessments language arts. Language Enhancement. The Marshall Islands and Palau. Kosrae would sition. and difficulty with scoring. Hawai‘i. While it is often assumed language proficiency standards in Palau. mathematics.

developing standards-based English language program) to identify. A grade-appropriate ver. the school system’s English language proficiency standards. None of the entities in learners are initially identified by home language the freely associated states has developed or selected use. and provide age.. The Guam Public School System is also a partner in the Enhanced Recommendations for Assessment Grant for developing standards-based services and programs English language proficiency Hawai‘i is the only assessments. Inc. able. The Northern Guam. Guam be implemented beginning in spring 2007. to the Hawai‘i English Language Proficiency 2005). Kosrae plans to continue to move forward in addressing implements assessments for language arts and Kos- effective accountability systems. Hawai‘i is expected to imple- and the Stanford English Language Proficiency ment an assessment that is more closely aligned Test (Stanford ELP) (Harcourt Assessment. Guam developed and implemented the Mariana Islands Public School System is also a Language Other Than English program (recently partner in the Enhanced Assessment Grant for renamed the English as a Second Language. assess. The American Samoa Department of standards. instruments that are aligned with the new English language proficiency standards. To meet the Title III Hawai‘i is the only jurisdiction in the Pacific requirements of the No Child Left Region required to comply with the No Child Left . the Northern Mariana Islands plans to develop which focuses on developing standards-based or adopt English language proficiency assessment English language proficiency assessments. jurisdictions negotiate proficiency.1 arts assessments. Palau and to content area and age to assess students’ English the Marshall Islands have implemented language language proficiency. All of the entities in the Feder- ated States of Micronesia administer the national Although these off-the-shelf assessments (LAS) assessments for language arts. proficiency assessments.2 The LAS Links™ is the aspects of the law aligned with Teachers of English Develop clear language development policies for which they will be to Speakers of Other Languages held accountable standards. The state Department of Education Education has not yet decided whether to purchase is a partner in the Enhanced Assessment Grant one of these instruments or to develop its own focused on developing standards-based English English language proficiency assessment based on language proficiency assessments. No English still being developed. although the need for an English language The American Samoa Department of Education proficiency assessment has been identified. as well as a high school entrance exam. ESL. the LAS Links™ Behind Act of 2001. English language The freely associated states. appropriate education services to all students who are not proficient in English. As the standards and benchmarks are The Northern Mariana Islands. 6 English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region language proficiency assessments. several recommenda- with the No Child Left sion of the LAS Links™ is used to tions can be made to improve the development of Behind Act. neither the LAS Links™ nor language proficiency assessment is yet avail- the Stanford ELP can align with the standards. Pohnpei was devel- are not aligned with Guam Public School System oping standards-based assessments for reading to English language proficiency standards. Based on the findings on the status of English jurisdiction in the region language proficiency standards and assessments required to comply Hawai‘i. development of English language proficiency stan- dards and aligned assessments. including the raean. and is a partner in the Enhanced Assessment Grant. across the Pacific Region. ESL teachers use LAS measures appropriate English language proficiency assessments. the other assess students’ English language services and programs.

A well researched and system. increased awareness and knowledge tests have cited many problems with their . listening. It might also be helpful for support and services for students according to their jurisdictions to convene for a discussion on English level of language proficiency. gender. The first facilitate the collection of demographic data for de- step is to establish language proficiency levels and veloping accountability systems. Having parents or guardians complete A language development policy might include a survey at the time of student enrollment may also both students’ first language and English. What is important is to provide in the service area. In Guam. language proficiency standards and on whether and how they are appropriate to their education Conduct research systems. the demographics of each needs to vary according jurisdiction. it might be better to identify to identify English language learners. proficiency standards are in place. speak. and comprehension. and the North- from the perspective of compliance with the No ern Mariana Islands use a home-language survey Child Left Behind Act. This type of the aspects of an integrated language development survey may be useful for other jurisdictions that program that are appropriate to each jurisdiction. Guam. Pacific Resources a language other than English outside the school for Education and Learning (PREL) could facilitate environment. and assessment of needs to vary according to language learners both the first language and English. it may not be appropriate the development of standards for core subject areas to assess all students to qualify them as English and English language proficiency for jurisdictions language learners. curriculum. and the Northern of each jurisdiction Mariana Islands. including English language learner identification and English Collect student information language proficiency assessment. These jurisdictions identify students as English before English language proficiency standards. language learners for targeting instruction and Only Hawai‘i has completely developed English services. Although there are many differences in the using commercial English language proficiency Pacific Region. In a jurisdiction where all students speak language proficiency standards. The process for identifying The process for atic approach to language development is needed English language learners identifying English to guide standards. For the other jurisdictions compliance of commonalities could improve English language is voluntary. Hawai‘i. improving the ability to track the achievement of ing. and at the end of the year to measure progress. and each negotiates the aspects of learner policies and programs. the standards should of student data by characteristics such as ethnic- address all students (all grades and proficiency ity. wish to identify languages spoken at home. Information about standards. however. Rather than approaching English language learner programs American Samoa. thereby levels) in the domains of reading. While the number of proficiency levels student demographics facilitates the disaggregation and standards may vary. Recommendations for services and programs 7 Behind Act. includ- ing English. assessment may be used at the beginning of the school year Develop programs to address the specific to identify and place students. English language the development of academic content standards for learners constitute a small subgroup of the popula- core subject areas (language arts. A peer review of existing standards would be useful to bring jurisdictions toward common Pacific Region jurisdictions that are currently ground. science) tion. math. to the demographics Review content standards Hawai‘i. Once language subgroups of the student population. during the year to needs of English language learners guide instruction. and socioeconomic status. for ex- The Pacific Region jurisdictions have prioritized ample. the law for which it will be accountable. writing.

three instruction strategies: differentiated instruc- but these assessments have numerous limitations. Test items will be aligned English language guage learners in the classroom. time. and the Northern English language learners make up a large per. These tests are not contextu- numbers of English language learners. and the Northern Mariana Islands are tion. The U. Develop a Pacific assessment consortium higher student achievement. CHILD professional development program A randomized control trial will be conducted of Next steps Pacific-CHILD (Communities with High Stan- dards in Literacy Development).and fifth-grade the coming months: teachers in reading comprehension. The grant enables these of English language learners in the classroom it agencies to develop a test-item bank and to test would be helpful to have a professional develop. and a consortium of three education agencies (the Most of the jurisdictions are not assessing stu. and interpretation and focus on the acquisition and use of provide baseline data academic language might also be Conduct a randomized control trial of the Pacific- beneficial. PREL. Guam. students in grades K–12. In addition to test design issues including their drains on budgets. American Samoa Department of Education. with English language proficiency standards for proficiency standards Since many teachers are English each education agency. In addition. cific assessment consortium will be disseminated improve data collection ditional English instruction with a nationally and regionally. Developing customized English lan- guage proficiency standards and assessments will English is not the dominant language used in the improve data collection and interpretation and community in most Pacific Region jurisdictions. the dents’ English language proficiency even though Guam Public School System. and creation of a cognitively . To address the needs hanced Assessment Grant. bilingual programs would be of great value. Research focused on laborate on the development of content standards attributes and practices associated with successful and assessments.S. interactive tasks. therefore. there are readily available through commercial vendors. Further ally appropriate or aligned with local standards. question genera- Hawai‘i. Mariana Islands Public School System) an En- centage of the population. The English language proficiency assessments The focus of the Pacific-CHILD study is on three being used or piloted by American Samoa. resulting in improved classroom practices and. requirements. This professional The findings of this report offer support for the development program is designed to upgrade the following activities to be undertaken by PREL in knowledge and skills of fourth. The U. Information about the Pa- and assessments will language learners themselves. blueprints and other instruments to enable con- ment program for teachers on how to conduct sortium members to design culturally appropri- formative assessments and how to ate English language proficiency assessments for Developing customized address the needs of English lan. Department of Education awarded the Provide professional development Hawai‘i Department of Education. ad. 8 English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region implementation. tion. and the there is the added challenge of assessing large capacity of local staff.S. and text structure. Department of proficiency goals usually include the student’s Education has encouraged the jurisdictions to col- first language and English. provide baseline data for more reliably establish- In school systems in these jurisdictions language ing benchmark targets. reading components: vocabulary. so they do not meet No Child Left Behind Title III ciency in large populations would be useful. research on ways to assess English language profi.

and results are available in the CTB McGraw Hill technical manual. 2. LAS winter. Notes 9 rich environment. month. monthly demonstration lessons by PREL LAS Reading and Writing 1 (given to students staff. The target population is fourth. two in-class observations per Oral II (given to students in grades 6–12). and spring. three mini-institutes in the fall. students age 7 or older or in grades 2–5). and weekly structured learning team meet. 1. Notes and fifth-grade students. The assessment instruments used by the de- partment’s ESL teachers to determine the level PREL staff will provide professional development of a student’s English language proficiency for two years to teachers participating in the study. External validation of the LAS Links has been conducted. and LAS each month. in grades 2–3). particularly English language learners. . LAS Oral I (given to in the summer. Reading and Writing 3 (given to students in grades 7–12). LAS Reading and Writing 2 ings with PREL staff joining the meetings twice (given to students in grades 4–6). include the following: Pre-LAS Oral (given Training will include a two-week annual institute to students ages 4–6).

Quantitative data for tions? Are they contextualized assessments? English language learners were collected from Do the English language proficiency assess. learner data for these sites were collected by Pacific For example. the Marshall Islands. question 4 was eliminated because conversa. 2007a. learners being served. ment of Education. How are English language learners identified in each jurisdiction? Are any of the jurisdic- The overarching question guiding the study is this: tions not planning to identify English lan- What is the status of English language proficiency guage learners as a subgroup? If not. because most jurisdictions do not Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) collect data on the proportion of English language staff for use in particular programs or proposals. Palau. In addi. Broekhuizen (2002. Kosrae. Are English language proficiency standards (Guam Public School System. 2004). English language rent English language proficiency program status. four questions were identified in May 2006: reached? Are any of the jurisdictions not plan- ning to develop English language proficiency 1. Chuuk. why not? school-age children are being (will be) served in each jurisdiction K–12 across the 3. why not? Both quantitative and qualitative data were col- 3. Pohnpei. 2007). . or Yap.S. departments of education. both submitted to the U. 2007b) and the Guam Public School System web site 4. including being implemented? How is standards-based data on the number and percentage of English education being addressed and supported? language learners by grade. What forms of English language proficiency curriculum? assessments are in place across the jurisdic- tions? Are they contextualized assessments? 2. Several sources provided the although Hawai‘i has developed standards and is data used in this report for these jurisdictions: awaiting approval by the state governing board. What stage of completion of English language region? To address this larger question more specifi. What stage of completion of English language Do the English language proficiency assess- proficiency standards has each jurisdiction ment items align with standards? reached? Are any of the jurisdictions not plan- ning to develop English language proficiency Data collection standards? If not. What portion of English language learner standards? If not. proficiency standards has each jurisdiction cally. 2003). Educator (PREL’s semiannual magazine) and in tion. What can we learn from jurisdictions that have implemented English language profi. Data for English language learners were not avail- ciency standards and assessments? able online for American Samoa. such as the Enhanced Assess- tions with key personnel in each jurisdiction made ment Grant proposal and the current REL-Pacific it clear that none of the jurisdictions has formally proposal. Brown (2002. Hawai‘i Department of Education web sites ment items align with standards? (Hawai‘i Department of Education. the Northern Mariana These questions were then revised in light of cur. What forms of English language proficiency lected from various sources at the ministries and assessments are in place across the jurisdic. why not? standards and aligned assessments across the Re- gional Education Laboratory (REL) Pacific service 2. Depart- adopted English language proficiency standards. a question was added on how These data have been reported in articles in Pacific English language learners are identified. Islands. grant applications.10 English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region Appendix A  The revisions resulted in the following questions: Study questions and data collection methodology 1.

and those in Hawai‘i. guage policies and practices and compliance with sionals from American Samoa. such as States of Micronesia (Chuuk. and Northern B) administered through face-to-face interviews Mariana Islands). For example. Their input has been included throughout for 45 minutes each day. are experts in English lan. Kosrae. American Samoa. pei who are currently employees of PREL. Three regional reviewers were contacted to com. including the final recommendations. the higher grades. Marshallese is maintained as the language of in- struction for 60 minutes each day in grades 4–12. The Pacific Region a year-long assignment as language arts special. lan- interviews were conducted with education profes. the Federated States of Microne- were contacted for interviews. in Chuuk schools Chuukese Study population is the language of instruction until grade 4. Hawai‘i. Palauan is the language of instruction for report. Pablo & Koki Islands. Guam. No interviews or surveys were Samoa is in English for all subjects except Samoan received from the Northern Mariana Islands. Appendix A 11 Cummings (2005). No Child Left Behind vary greatly. Category 2 . 8 of the 11 juris. and Palau). gov- Qualitative data on standards and assessments ernment in three different ways: state (Hawai‘i). 2002). grades are provided 45 minutes of Samoan lan- tion. The REL Pacific service region comprises 10 jurisdictions and the national government of the English language learners in the Pacific Region Federated States of Micronesia. from American Samoa. These reviewers. Guam. The face-to-face sia. In total. Some jurisdictions imple- this report. ment transitional bilingual programs to enhance learning. Two interviewees are working in the PREL office on Language policies and practices. or Yap. and Palau. experience as a program specialist. guage each day. In total. Each intervie. and the Republic of Palau. and the third interviewee is a full-time PREL for English instruction. Laturno Yap). therefore. the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana (2001. jurisdictions have unique policies and practices ists. English is the primary language of instruction for wee had in-depth knowledge of English language students K–12. the lish language exposure and usage. and English as a second language learner practices in his or her education agency. Kosrae. constitute category 1. when students are transitioned to English. Lee & Donahue (1998). Rao (2005). In Palau a developmental bilingual program is in ment on the English language proficiency status place. Students are transitioned to English in Guam. Marshall and Hawaiian (Hawai‘i). programs are in place for English language learn- ers. and Pohn. Heritage language programs exist for Caro- The five respondents who returned the survey linian (Guam and Northern Mariana Islands). Pohnpei. Guam. and freely associated state (the (three) or by email (five). Students with Republic of the Marshall Islands. proficiency status report. Instruction in American Islands. the language arts. 11 respondents Marshall Islands. the questions addressed in this English language and then students are transitioned to English. Chuuk.S. grades 1–8. Donahue (1997). the Federated the highest level of exposure to English. For example. Palauan language and cultural guage proficiency issues in their respective juris. when students in the elementary Federated States of Micronesia’s national jurisdic. In the Marshall Islands Marshall- dictions (73 percent) provided information on ese is the language of instruction for grades 1–3. The jurisdictions jurisdictions may be grouped based on their Eng- include American Samoa. (1999). and the Northern Mariana Islands. in Guam. and Hawai‘i. Across these jurisdictions. by email were from the following jurisdictions: Chamorro (Guam and Northern Mariana Islands). employee from Pohnpei who has many years of Hawai‘i. were collected through a survey (see appendix territory (American Samoa. and Taitague (2006). The jurisdictions are affiliated with the U. studies are maintained in the higher grades (9–12) dictions.

to which they are category 3.S. and social a consolidated grant process with the U. Rather.12 English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region Table A1 Compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Negotiated with Negotiated with Mandatory compliance U.S. Depart- interactions that demand more use of English. and assessment systems 1 and is held accountable for all provisions of the that measure standards and benchmarks). The Marshall Islands and students with the least exposure to English. and Director of Territories and Freely Associated States Educational Grant Program. ment of Education. personal communication. Department of U. Students Left Behind. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (2007). Instruction. Director of Curriculum. and Palau are in Office of Insular Affairs (OIA). personal communication. Through English due to government. Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia to ance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in adopt some concepts from No Child Left Behind the Pacific Region falls into three tiers of respon. they receive compact funds in American Samoa.S. American Samoa Department of Education (2007). (such as standards and benchmarks. aligned cur- sibility (table A1). Hawai‘i. Guam Public School System (2005). and Assessment. These jurisdic- language other than English at home and in their tions are not held accountable under No Child communities but learn English at school. Compli. business. Category 3 represents will be held accountable. the administered by the Department of the Interior’s Federated States of Micronesia. and Assessment. these jurisdictions individually Students in Guam and the Northern Mariana negotiate the provisions of the act for which they Islands are in this category. is in tier riculum and instruction. personal communication. Freely Associ- ated States (2007). Department of Jurisdiction (tier 1) Education (tier 2) the Interior (tier 3) Hawai‘i ✓ American Samoa ✓ Guam ✓ Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands ✓ Republic of Palau ✓ Republic of the Marshall Islands ✓ Federated States of Micronesia Chuuk ✓ Kosrae ✓ Pohnpei ✓ Yap ✓ Source: Hawai‘i Department of Education (2006). The territories and Palau are in tier 2. the only state. Kosrae. describes students with a high level of exposure to act. Instruction. The OIA also encourages the Marshall Compliance with No Child Left Behind. all English language learners in category 3 speak a Pohnpei. Associate Commissioner of Curriculum. Nearly the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk. . the Marshall Islands. held accountable for 20 indicators of educational progress. and Yap) make up tier 3.

Appendix B 13 Appendix B  If yes. What is the status of ELP standards in your ____  We do not plan to assess ELP school system? (please check one) ____  We are planning to develop ELP assessments ____  We do not plan to develop ELP standards ____ We are currently developing ELP ____  We are planning to develop ELP standards assessments ____  We are currently developing ELP standards ____ We are using these tests to assess ELP: ������������������������������� ____  We have developed ELP standards ������������������������������� ____  Other: _ _________________________ ____  Other: _ _________________________ ������������������������� ������������������������� ������������������������� ������������������������� 2. Do you need any assistance developing your 4. What is the status of ELP assessment in your Please answer the following questions: school system? (please check one) 1. please explain:  _ ____________________ Status of English language ______________________________________ proficiency (ELP) standards and ______________________________________ assessment: interview questions 3. Do you need any assistance developing ELP ELP standards?  ____  Yes  ____  No assessments?  ____  Yes  ____  No .

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