ERIC Number: ED386962
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Adult ESL Learner Assessment: Purposes and Tools. ERIC Digest.
Burt, Miriam; Keenan, Fran
Learner assessment is conducted in adult basic education and adult English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) educational programs for many reasons: to place learners at appropriate instructional levels; to measure ongoing progress; to qualify students for enrollment in academic or job training programs; to verify program effectiveness; and to demonstrate learner gains for continued program funding. Because of these multiple objectives, learner assessment involves a variety of instruments and procedures. In adult basic education, commercially available instruments predominate as assessment tools because they have construct validity and scoring reliability, are easy to administer to groups, require minimal teacher training, and are often stipulated by funding sources. Their use is problematic because they may not adequately assess individual learner strengths and weaknesses, especially at the lowest literacy skill levels. They also do not necessarily measure what has been learned in class or address learner goals. Alternative assessments (also known as classroom-based, authentic, or congruent assessment) such as surveys, interviews, checklists, observation measures, teacher-developed tests, learner self-assessment, portfolios and other performance samples, and performance-based tests, provide additional assessment flexibility. Other quantifiable indicators of learner progress include learner retention, learner promotion to more advanced instructional levels or jobs, and attainment of specific program goals. Less quantifiable learner outcomes include heightened self-esteem and increased participation in community, school, and church events. Contains 14 references and 4 resources. (MSE) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Alternative Assessment, English (Second Language), Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Methods, Language Skills, Language Tests, Literacy Education, Portfolios (Background Materials), Program Evaluation, Second Language Instruction, Student Evaluation, Testing
ERIC/NCLE, 1118 22nd Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037.
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: Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education, Washington, DC.; National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education, Washington, DC.