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ERIC Number: ED505518
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
Valid, Reliable, and Appropriate Assessments for Adult English Language Learners
Kenyon, Dorry; Van Duzer, Carol
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
Ensuring that language tests for adult English language learners are appropriate, valid, and reliable is a challenge. Performance-based assessments are complex to develop and implement. Yet, because the focus of assessment, both in the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS) descriptors and in the Department of Education's definition of content standards, is on what learners can do with the language, performance assessments are worth developing and validating. As program staff choose assessments that meet current accountability requirements, they can take the following steps to ensure that valid, reliable, and appropriate assessments are chosen for their learners: (1) Review the assessment and technical information provided by the test developer to determine that what the assessment purports to measure reflects real-life tasks; Review the technical manual to ascertain that the test developers have demonstrated that reliability can be achieved; and provide adequate resources to train test administrators and raters to maintain reliability of test administration and scoring; and (2) Post-test only after an adequate amount of instructional time has taken place to demonstrate level gain (currently, assessment of learner gains is based on the NRS descriptors; over the next few years, content standards will be implemented as well.)
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. Tel: 202-355-1500; Fax: 202-363-7204; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition