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Standards and Assessments for English Language

Learners: Should We Change Them?

Standards That Impact ELs: Language proficiency and teaching standards shapes the instruction given
to EL students.
Why They Matter: Standards are tool that define that language and content that ELs are expected to
learn.
Assessments: Standards and assessments go hand in hand, as students are evaluated based upon
instruction, which is guided by standards set forth on state and national levels.

Keep Them the Same! Make a Change!


If we have the same standards for all students, Students learning a new language have different
we create a common ground for education. academic needs than students who are already
proficient in English.

Existing Standards and Assessments: Existing Standards and Assessments:


*ELP standards that were mandated for each *In 2001, No Child Left Behind mandated
state by the federal government are intended to language proficiency standards. These TESOL
provide organizations with a framework to use standards were last updated in 2006, and only
in developing, implementing, and evaluating serve as a bridge to mainstream standards. End
programs that allow teachers to teach English of year state mandated tests are the same for all
as a second or foreign language. students.

Why They Should Stay the Same: Why It Is Not Enough:


*According to Jayne Ellspermann, principal of *According to Pearson, 25% of EL students
West Port High School in Ocala, Florida, we drop out of school, and “those that do graduate
need to have ELs follow the same standards often lag behind their peers on achievement
and assessments as their Native English tests.”
speaking peers so that all students have a *This is because current standards do not
common ground for education. provide strategies to assist ELs, foster the
ability to use English, or focus on language
acquisition.
Overall Outcome/Goal:
*If all students are being exposed and taught What Needs to Change:
according to the standards and along with the *ELs need separate state standards and
assessments, then ELL students are learning assessments that focus on language proficiency
the content along with the English language, needs.
where these students will learn to speak in both *Instruction and assessment should focus
academic and social settings. mainly on language acquisition and
engagement.