Assessing English Language Learners

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Assessing English Language Learners
Grand Canyon University ESL 533N
April 10, 2013

The OTELA test is the assessment given in Ohio to determine if a student can be removed from the ELL program and be a part of the mainstream classroom. The test is similar to the ELDA test given in many other states. It is a shorter test in duration of number of questions on each part. The OTELA is compared more in detail to the ELDA, STAAR and the AZELLA. Each of these assessments are very similar although they have some differences. A few states have reported to have changed the test they have used in the past. By states changing their assessment, it shows these states are looking for a better way to determine if students should stay in the ELL program at their school.

The OTELA test is the current test used in the Ohio schools. This test is used throughout Ohio in grades K-12 to assess English language proficient. This test is similar to the ELDA test but shorter number of questions are given. The test covers the four standards of Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening. When giving the test, the two sections of Reading, Writing, and Listening may be given with a group however the Speaking assessment must be given individually. The Speaking and Listening assessment comes with a CD for students to listen to and respond. The answer document provides the assessor with a rubric to easily score the students response in the Listening section. The test has some benefits and some drawbacks. On the plus side, the test is quick to administer. It is straight forward as well. The test is used to determine if the student needs to be reclassified as no longer ELL. When students are determined to be ELL, they must stay in the ELL program until their 2nd grade year. After that, if the student scores a composite score of five or higher or scores a four and completes a trail period of mainstream instruction and receives a four or five, they can be reclassified...
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