ERIC Number: ED356232
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Assessing Language-Minority Students. ERIC Digest.
Geisinger, Kurt F.; Carlson, Janet F.
Some 15 to 20 percent of U.S. school children speak a foreign language at home, and the number is increasing rapidly. However, all limited-English proficient (LEP) students are not alike, and their differences must be understood in assessing their performance. It is vital to understand the role of culture and how the cultural background influences the student's approach to test taking. In evaluating tests for LEP students, the same criteria of reliability, validity, test development, and norming can be applied, but these criteria must be considered for adequate numbers of LEP students. Only limited evidence presently addresses the validity of tests with LEP students. When students struggle with tests in English, it is necessary to administer and interpret language proficiency tests, perhaps along with achievement tests in the students' native languages. Testing procedures must be sensitive to the needs of LEP students and those from cultural minorities. Practical needs are beginning to point the way toward sound testing practices for LEP students. In 1985, new standards for testing were published by three professional associations, which for the first time addressed the testing of language minorities. By adhering to sound and professionally accepted practices, progress in testing LEP students will continue. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Diversity (Student), Educational Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Ethnic Groups, Language Tests, Limited English Speaking, Minority Groups, Non English Speaking, Special Needs Students, Student Evaluation, Test Construction, Test Reliability, Test Validity
American Institutes for Research, 3333 K Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20007 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Washington, DC.