ERIC Number: ED415498
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Assessment of Academic Literacy Skills: Preparing Minority and LEP (Limited English Proficient) Students for Postsecondary Education.
Addressing the problem of the language-related barriers to successful postsecondary education for underprepared college students, an assessment of academic language proficiency and a curriculum to help students improve their academic language skills were developed. The nature of the language tasks required in the undergraduate curriculum was defined, and the nature of the academic language used in college lectures and textbooks was studied. Decisions regarding the assessment format were based directly on the results of field testing. The curriculum emphasizes vocabulary development because this was identified through analyses of test results as the most important barrier to lecture and text comprehension. The curriculum also includes lessons on lecture structure and the cues professors use to indicate their lecture organization. A third part of the curriculum focuses on reading skills and strategies. Implementation of the assessment and the curriculum occurred at eight sites during the final year of the three-year program. Results of implementation in three classes at Madera High School indicate significant increases in student academic language skills. Detailed evidence from the field tests and curriculum implementation led to the conclusion that academic language is a second language for all students from all backgrounds. (Appendixes contain information for Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education; six figures of data; dictionary and vocabulary icon examples; normative descriptive information and writing score rubrics; academic language pretest and posttest; and a 14-item list of presentations and publications of the program.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California State Univ., Fresno. Dept. of Educational Research.
Note: Appendices printed on colored paper.