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ERIC Number: ED337035
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Teaching and Testing for Academic Achievement: The Role of Language Development. Focus, Occasional Papers in Bilingual Education, Number 4.
Focus, n4 Spr 1991
The role of language development is discussed and some basic questions are raised about the need for special assessment instruments for limited English proficient (LEP) students. The extent to which positive transfer takes place across languages is noted and related to successful functioning of LEP students and school settings. The concept of interactional competence is also examined. It is suggested that reading achievement in English as a Second Language is more dependent on reading achievement in the native language than it is on relative oral proficiency in English. Academic competence requires knowing how to use language as a tool in acquiring knowledge and performing analytic processes, but these skills relate more closely to language competence in general. Radical changes, it is argued, are needed in testing procedures and interpretation for LEP children. The model of special education may offer answers to appropriate assessment and placement procedures. Federal law requires that students from non-English backgrounds must be assessed in their primary language as well as in English. It is concluded that test of English language proficiency alone--tests that are not based on or related to standard curriculum content for native speakers--should not be allowed to be used as the basis for academic placement for LEP students. Contains 34 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, Washington, DC.