ERIC Number: ED483392
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
An Approach to Operationalizing Academic Language for Language Test Development Purposes: Evidence from Fifth-Grade Science and Math. CSE Report 626
Butler, Frances A.; Lord, Carol; Stevens, Robin; Borrego, Malka; Bailey, Alison L.
US Department of Education
This report details an exploratory study that employs empirical methods to operationalize academic language (AL) for language test development purposes. First, an evidence-based approach to operationalizing AL is discussed, followed by a proposed methodology for systematically collecting and synthesizing AL research findings from two data sources--standards and textbooks at the fifth-grade level for science and math. In addition, the potential for using extant classroom videos as an AL data source and present preliminary findings is explored. Following this, a process for synthesizing AL data for test development purposes, specifically to inform specifications and prototype tasks, is articulated. Findings include the use of language functions as an organizing structure for operationalizing AL. The research reported here will lead to a better understanding of the kinds of language students need for successful school performance, which will help in the development of English language tests for English language learners that are aligned to the language of the classroom.
Descriptors: Academic Discourse, Language Tests, Test Construction, Science Instruction, Mathematics Instruction, Grade 5, Academic Standards, Videotape Recordings, English (Second Language), Textbooks
Center for the Study of Evaluation (CSE), National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522. Tel: 310-206-1532.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.