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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

Institute of Education Sciences.. . & Ryan. D.gov/ncee/edlabs. DC: U.S. Government. state. it should be cited as: Burger. Mauricio. as identified through lab outreach and requests for assistance from policymakers and educa- tors at state and local levels and from communities. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names. Fast Response Project topics change to reflect new issues.S. families. businesses. Washington. This report is available on the regional educational laboratory web site at http://ies.S. and youth. English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region (Issues & Answers Report.ed. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.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. 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. All Issues & Answers reports meet Institute of Education Sciences standards for scientifically valid research. (2007). Department of Education.. Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific. R. parents. 014).ed. This report is in the public domain. and regional levels. commercial products. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U. or organizations imply endorsement by the U. Retrieved from http:// ies. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary. REL 2007–No. J.

each jurisdiction where English is not the dominant language. and have expressed interest in surveyed each jurisdiction. iii Summary English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region Using various approaches to iden. region have large numbers of English lan. language proficiency standards and assess- tent standards. REL Pacific arts. gathering informa- developing English language pro. proficiency standards and assess- ments aligned with those stan. To find out about the current status of English dards. Although (Republic of the Marshall Islands. including standards and assessment and provide insights English language learners. including language ment across the Pacific Region. take the same state into critical needs in the region that can be academic assessments in reading/language used to guide future program activities. 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. 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. mathematics. and Republic of Palau). . Hawai‘i. and science beginning with school year 2007/08. Others are working on con. in schools across the region. than English. Guam. and the Commonwealth of the Northern because all jurisdictions within its service Mariana Islands) use home-language surveys. Federated English is used as a language of instruction States of Micronesia. risdictions (American Samoa. tion about the existence and implementation ficiency standards but lack formal of standards and assessments and future plans assessment mechanisms. Some also use commercially available tests guage learners or limited English proficiency and ethnicity data. has an official language or languages other tify English language learners. four ju- concern to the Regional Educational Labo. for them. This mandate is of special To identify English language learners. ratory for the Pacific Region (REL Pacific). arts.

Pacific Resources for Education and systems. and have expressed interest in developing each education agency. tests to assess English language proficiency. This process of developing English language American Samoa. English language proficiency standards. developed assessments have not been con- textualized to the Pacific Region or aligned June 2007 . The freely and develop culturally appropriate English associated states have completed or are work. off-the-shelf among jurisdictions. Samoa Department of Education. and additional research. The U. provision of Pacific The other jurisdictions do not have formal Resources for Education and Learning ser- assessment mechanisms. the students makes using these assessments impossible. including English language profi. Department of Education. Assessment Grant that enables them to test lands are preparing their standards. and a consortium of the American ciency standards and aligned assessments. the Guam Hawai‘i is awaiting approval of its English Public School System.S. support from the U. has awarded the Hawai‘i Department of Edu- ing to develop their educational accountability cation. The commercially vices.S. language proficiency assessments aligned with ing on content standards.iv Summary do not categorize English language learners as with local standards. Learning. American ana Islands Public School System an Enhanced Samoa. and the Northern Mari- language proficiency standards. Department of Education The Pacific Region jurisdictions are continu. and the proficiency standards and assessments could Northern Mariana Islands have used or are be greatly facilitated through collaboration using commercially developed. Guam. including language English language proficiency standards for arts. Guam. and the Northern Mariana Is. Hawai‘i. 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.

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 .

Guam. do not categorize English language learners language proficiency as a separate population subgroup. and the Commonwealth of the Northern arts. Federated States of Micronesia. 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. and so they have no formal processes to identify them. including language Four jurisdictions (American Samoa. and have Mariana Islands) use home-language surveys to identify English language learners.S. standards but lack The Pacific Region jurisdictions are continuing to formal assessment develop their educational accountability systems. proficiency To learn about the current status of English standards and language proficiency standards and assessment across the Pacific Region. The freely as- expressed interest in sociated states (Republic of the Marshall Islands. where English is not the dominant lan- guage. 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. The results provide an opportunity to share information standards. Hawai‘i. Title I of the act requires that all students in a school. mathematics. and assessments. (See box 1 for definitions of key terms. identify English public schools. 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. REL Pacific surveyed assessments each jurisdiction. including English language language learners. Hawai‘i is awaiting approval of its English language proficiency standards. learners. including English language proficiency standards mechanisms. .) These Region jurisdictions mandates are of special concern to the Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific. take the same state academic assess- ments in reading/language arts. activities. several Pacific and science beginning with school year 2007/08. gathering information about the existence and implementation of standards and aligned with those assessments and future plans for them. and Republic of developing English Palau).

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

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

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

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

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. as well as a high school entrance exam. English language The freely associated states. the LAS Links™ Behind Act of 2001. able. the school system’s English language proficiency standards. Palau and to content area and age to assess students’ English the Marshall Islands have implemented language language proficiency.1 arts assessments. 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. 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. appropriate education services to all students who are not proficient in English. and provide age. The Northern Guam. 6 English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific Region language proficiency assessments. instruments that are aligned with the new English language proficiency standards. assess. neither the LAS Links™ nor language proficiency assessment is yet avail- the Stanford ELP can align with the standards. 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. although the need for an English language The American Samoa Department of Education proficiency assessment has been identified. the other assess students’ English language services and programs. developing standards-based English language program) to identify. The American Samoa Department of standards. None of the entities in learners are initially identified by home language the freely associated states has developed or selected use. the Northern Mariana Islands plans to develop which focuses on developing standards-based or adopt English language proficiency assessment English language proficiency assessments. A grade-appropriate ver. 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. Guam be implemented beginning in spring 2007. As the standards and benchmarks are The Northern Mariana Islands. 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.. and is a partner in the Enhanced Assessment Grant.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. Pohnpei was devel- are not aligned with Guam Public School System oping standards-based assessments for reading to English language proficiency standards. Kosrae plans to continue to move forward in addressing implements assessments for language arts and Kos- effective accountability systems. Inc. 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 . across the Pacific Region. development of English language proficiency stan- dards and aligned assessments. No English still being developed. proficiency assessments. Based on the findings on the status of English jurisdiction in the region language proficiency standards and assessments required to comply Hawai‘i. jurisdictions negotiate proficiency. ESL teachers use LAS measures appropriate English language proficiency assessments. including the raean. ESL. to the Hawai‘i English Language Proficiency 2005).

the standards should of student data by characteristics such as ethnic- address all students (all grades and proficiency ity. including English language learner identification and English Collect student information language proficiency assessment. In a jurisdiction where all students speak language proficiency standards. Guam. proficiency standards are in place. the law for which it will be accountable. Rather than approaching English language learner programs American Samoa. it might be better to identify to identify English language learners. Although there are many differences in the using commercial English language proficiency Pacific Region. increased awareness and knowledge tests have cited many problems with their . improving the ability to track the achievement of ing. for ex- The Pacific Region jurisdictions have prioritized ample. language learners for targeting instruction and Only Hawai‘i has completely developed English services. the demographics of each needs to vary according jurisdiction. Hawai‘i. 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. writing. 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 socioeconomic status. and the Northern of each jurisdiction Mariana Islands. during the year to needs of English language learners guide instruction. In Guam. however. English language the development of academic content standards for learners constitute a small subgroup of the popula- core subject areas (language arts. assessment may be used at the beginning of the school year Develop programs to address the specific to identify and place students. Once language subgroups of the student population. The process for identifying The process for atic approach to language development is needed English language learners identifying English to guide standards. and the North- from the perspective of compliance with the No ern Mariana Islands use a home-language survey Child Left Behind Act. Pacific Resources a language other than English outside the school for Education and Learning (PREL) could facilitate environment. language proficiency standards and on whether and how they are appropriate to their education Conduct research systems. gender. thereby levels) in the domains of reading. speak. listening. and at the end of the year to measure progress. to the demographics Review content standards Hawai‘i. includ- ing English. What is important is to provide in the service area. and comprehension. The first facilitate the collection of demographic data for de- step is to establish language proficiency levels and veloping accountability systems. While the number of proficiency levels student demographics facilitates the disaggregation and standards may vary. 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. A well researched and system. wish to identify languages spoken at home. science) tion. 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. These jurisdictions identify students as English before English language proficiency standards. Recommendations for services and programs 7 Behind Act. and assessment of needs to vary according to language learners both the first language and English. Information about standards. For the other jurisdictions compliance of commonalities could improve English language is voluntary. A peer review of existing standards would be useful to bring jurisdictions toward common Pacific Region jurisdictions that are currently ground. and each negotiates the aspects of learner policies and programs. math.

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

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

Are English language proficiency standards (Guam Public School System. . a question was added on how These data have been reported in articles in Pacific English language learners are identified. Broekhuizen (2002. the Marshall Islands. What stage of completion of English language region? To address this larger question more specifi. Depart- adopted English language proficiency standards. English language rent English language proficiency program status. Data for English language learners were not avail- ciency standards and assessments? able online for American Samoa. Pohnpei. 2004). ment of Education. What forms of English language proficiency lected from various sources at the ministries and assessments are in place across the jurisdic. Kosrae. four questions were identified in May 2006: reached? Are any of the jurisdictions not plan- ning to develop English language proficiency 1. 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. Islands. 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. including being implemented? How is standards-based data on the number and percentage of English education being addressed and supported? language learners by grade. learners being served. Brown (2002. Educator (PREL’s semiannual magazine) and in tion. learner data for these sites were collected by Pacific For example. 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. What forms of English language proficiency curriculum? assessments are in place across the jurisdic- tions? Are they contextualized assessments? 2. departments of education. why not? standards and aligned assessments across the Re- gional Education Laboratory (REL) Pacific service 2. In addi. Chuuk.S. both submitted to the U. the Northern Mariana These questions were then revised in light of cur. 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. Hawai‘i Department of Education web sites ment items align with standards? (Hawai‘i Department of Education. 2003). or Yap. 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. What portion of English language learner standards? If not. 2007b) and the Guam Public School System web site 4. question 4 was eliminated because conversa. 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. grant applications. What can we learn from jurisdictions that have implemented English language profi.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. 2007). proficiency standards has each jurisdiction cally. Palau. 2007a. Quantitative data for tions? Are they contextualized assessments? English language learners were collected from Do the English language proficiency assess.

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

Instruction. Director of Curriculum. is in tier riculum and instruction. the only state. aligned cur- sibility (table A1). Depart- interactions that demand more use of English.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. The territories and Palau are in tier 2. Freely Associ- ated States (2007). personal communication. these jurisdictions individually Students in Guam and the Northern Mariana negotiate the provisions of the act for which they Islands are in this category. business. 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).S. held accountable for 20 indicators of educational progress. Department of U. The Marshall Islands and students with the least exposure to English. Hawai‘i. Associate Commissioner of Curriculum. and Assessment. American Samoa Department of Education (2007). Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (2007). Students Left Behind. ment of Education. to which they are category 3.S. describes students with a high level of exposure to act. and assessment systems 1 and is held accountable for all provisions of the that measure standards and benchmarks). personal communication. the administered by the Department of the Interior’s Federated States of Micronesia. Nearly the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk.S. and social a consolidated grant process with the U. Guam Public School System (2005). 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. and Yap) make up tier 3. and Director of Territories and Freely Associated States Educational Grant Program. and Palau are in Office of Insular Affairs (OIA). Category 3 represents will be held accountable. Through English due to government. 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. Kosrae. (such as standards and benchmarks. Rather. Instruction. they receive compact funds in American Samoa. and Assessment. personal communication. Compli. all English language learners in category 3 speak a Pohnpei. The OIA also encourages the Marshall Compliance with No Child Left Behind. the Marshall Islands. .

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. 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. Appendix B 13 Appendix B  If yes. Do you need any assistance developing your 4. Do you need any assistance developing ELP ELP standards?  ____  Yes  ____  No assessments?  ____  Yes  ____  No .

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