Assessment Of English As A Second Language Students

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At Manhattan School of Computer Technology, when planning assessments to be taken by English as a Second Language students, teachers are encouraged to apply the principles of good assessment practices. We firmly believe, that assessment of English as a Second Language students (ESL) must be given attention at all levels in our school assessment policy. Moreover, the content assessments taken by ESL students must be reliable and valid. If all our teachers are to get this correct, improvement of educational opportunities for our ESL students will be achieved. The ensuing paper will critically assess a language test specifically set for ESL English students. In so doing, the following will be highlighted: the criteria used to evaluate assessment instruments; technical information on the test given; and the validity of the test as it regards its intended audience.

Criteria Used to Assess the Test
Cohen (1994) stated, “One of the primary reasons for conducting a language assessment in the classroom is to promote meaningful involvement of students with material that is central to the teaching objectives of a given course.” p. 13 Does the test on pages 2 – 6 promote meaningful involvement? In my opinion, the answer is no; I am not sure if the tasks assessed is reflecting the overall objectives of the program. A real question to ask is whether these goals were made known to the students at the commencement of the course. Consequently, when measuring this test against Cohen’s criteria for “evaluating assessment instruments” as it relates to instruction. I found that the instructions given for each section are clear and precise, the test can be given by another teacher if the designated teacher is not there. Also, the timing seems reali...

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