Rubric – Argumentative Writing.doc

Self Assess Rubric 

Standard 4.c.:  Classroom-Based Assessment for ESL

Candidates know and use a variety of performance-based assessment tools and techniques to inform classroom instruction.

The artifact I chose for this standard are various rubrics that assess student learning, on the individual, group, and class level. My use of these assessments illustrate my understanding of the interdependent relationship between teaching and assessment and can develop instructional tasks and assessment tools that promote and measure student learning. 

One simple self-assessment tool I use is the Fist to Five protocol. This physical assessment allows students to show the teacher at which stage of comprehension they feel they belong. If a student raises all five fingers, they understand the content fully, while a fist shows a complete lack of comprehension. Even though this assessment is used for all students, and is most beneficial for immediate feedback, I find to be most applicable for my Entering/Emerging ELLs. This use of the Fist to Five protocol is evidence of how I develop and adapt a variety of techniques and instruments when appropriate to assess ELLs’ content learning at all levels of language proficiency and literacy. 

For more intensive, longer projects, I rely on my classroom and peer assessments. One recent assignment involved creating an editorial on the issue of cultural assimilation. While the final writing piece was a solo effort, there were stages when students had to work in groups. The peer assessment rubric I developed allowed students and myself to better comprehend where they were in the writing process. This rubric allows for assessing both speaking and listening proficiencies for my ELLs in that in order to receive a good score, they had to demonstrate a high level of participation and feedback. By allowing students to evaluate each other, I am proving that self-assessment and peer-assessment techniques can be used regularly to encourage students to monitor and take control of their own learning.

At the end of the project, I use a classroom assessment that is whole-class, ELLs and native speakers alike. One change I would like to make in the future is to make the category details more simple for my beginner ELLs; they sometimes find it difficult to understand exactly what I am looking for, even with translations. However, even with a more streamlined rubric, I do not want to lose the rigor and focus of my original assessment.


WoodJared – ChildStudy.docx

Standard 4.b:  Candidates know and use a variety of standards-based language proficiency instruments to show language growth and to inform their instruction.  They demonstrate understanding of their uses for identification, placement, and reclassification of ELLs.  

For this standard, I chose as an artifact a child study I prepared for my ESC 727 course.  This particular study showcases my skill at designing assessments that measure students’ discrete and integrated language skills and their ability to use social and academic language in a range of contexts. I worked with my sample student in a number of different contexts, including science and math. While those subjects may fall under the umbrella of STEM, they do indeed require specific types of language scaffolds. One scaffold I prepared for my student was question scaffolding. This technique involves increasing the level of rigor, in terms of comprehension, one step at at time. After some analysis, I discovered that by building up the levels of questioning, my student gained confidence and tapped into his background knowledge with greater ease. Since utilizing this strategy in my everyday teaching, I have noticed a greater level of depth in my student’s responses, even from Entering/Emerging ELLs.

Another example of my proficiency in Standard 4.b is my ability to assess ESOL learners’ language skills and communicative competence using multiple sources of information. My child study provides an example of how I use my student’s strengths to develop, in conjunction with the content teacher, appropriate assessments. For example, my sample ELL is a very talented artist who was quite weak at writing in English. By understanding his limitations, I was able to develop a rubric that gave space for a more visual product (comic strip, illustration) as opposed to only using an essay as an assessment.  By giving this student a voice and providing a way to increase their score while maintaining the same level of rigor boosted their confidence.

In the future, I would like to utilize the strategy of expanding my rubrics. While I did alter some of my assessments for the ELL in my child study, I have not continued this behavior in subsequent classes. It can be a time-consuming process creating rubrics for every student, but perhaps I can have different rubrics for different learning styles.


Nyseslat analysis

TESOL Standard 4.a: Candidates demonstrate understanding of assessment issues as they affect ELLs, such as accountability, bias, special education testing, language proficiency, and accommodations in formal testing situations.

The article I chose for Standard 4.a was my NYSESLAT Analysis, developed for my ESC 761 course. The NYSESLAT is given to English Language Learners in order to determine their placement in terms of English Language comprehension. The NYSESLAT, while laudable in its goal of proper classification, is considered to be controversial, mainly because of the amount of testing hours ELLs are subjected to. My NYESLAT analysis investigates the reasoning and skepticism behind this test (as well as other ELL assessments), along with how I utilize the evaluation in my own classroom.

By delving into the common issues with ELL testing through this artifact, I am demonstrating understanding of assessment issues as they affect ELLs. One issue I discovered by conducting my research was that English language learners are being tested after only a few years of residence in the United States. Moreover, in New York, there is a small window in which student are taking a multitude of tests; this pressure leads to a sense of helplessness amongst are ELLs.

Because I understand the particular issues and biases regarding ELLs that stem from high-stakes testing, I strenuously advocate for my students, ensuring that they receive every modification available for them.  New York State testing is so intense that preparing ELLs for the various assessments is almost impossible. There is little connection between the ELA state tests and the NYSESLAT, and while the Math state tests allow for translated texts, there is little regard for cultural specificities in regards to the word problems.

While writing my NYSESLAT analysis, I gained incredible insight into the troubled history of assessing language attainment, and I have used this information to instruct my teaching practice. I try to lower the stress level of my students, and I try to let them know that I value their progress and that their assessment scoring will have no effect on how I honor their language learning success.