NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED510556
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 204
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 107
Accommodations for English Language Learner Students: The Effect of Linguistic Modification of Math Test Item Sets. Final Report. NCEE 2009-4079
Sato, Edynn; Rabinowitz, Stanley; Gallagher, Carole; Huang, Chun-Wei
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
This study examined the effect of linguistic modification on middle school students' ability to show what they know and can do on math assessments. REL West's study on middle school math assessment accommodations found that simplifying the language--or linguistic modification--on standardized math test items made it easier for English Language learners to focus on and grasp math concepts, and thus was a more accurate assessment of their math skills. The results contribute to the body of knowledge informing assessment practices and accommodations appropriate for English language learner students. The study examined students' performance on two sets of math items--both the originally worded items and those that had been modified. Researchers analyzed results from three subgroups of students--English learners (EL), non-English language arts proficient (NEP), and English language arts proficient (EP) students. Key results include: (1) Linguistically modifying the language of mathematics test items did not change the math knowledge being assessed; (2) The effect of linguistic modification on students' math performance varied between the three student subgroups. The results also varied depending on how scores were calculated for each student; and (3) For each of the four scoring approaches analyzed, the effect of linguistic modification was greatest for EL students, followed by NEP and EP students. The report is structured as follows. Following an Executive Summary and a Study Overview, Chapter 2 describes the study design, sample selection and recruitment, item set development processes, and standardized administration procedures. Chapter 3 describes the implementation of the accommodation (linguistic modification), including discussion of considerations and methods for data analysis. Chapter 4 presents findings from data analyses. Chapter 5 summarizes and interprets key findings, describes study challenges, comments on implications of the findings, and offers recommendations for future research. Appendices include: (1) Power analysis for primary research questions; (2) Operational test administration manual; (3) Student Language Background Survey; (4) Guide for developing a linguistically modified assessment; (5) Workgroup training materials; (6) Overview and protocol for cognitive interviews; (7) Item parameter estimates for IRT models; (8) Descriptive statistics from four scoring approaches; (9) ANOVA findings across four scoring approaches; (10) Cross-approach comparisons; (11) Results of the classical item-level analyses; (12) Summary of differential item functioning findings; (13) Exploratory factor analysis results; (14) Operational item set--original; and (15) Operational item set--linguistically modified. (Contains 31 tables, 10 figures, and 45 footnotes.)
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Grade 7; Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED); Regional Educational Laboratory West (ED)
Identifiers - Location: California
IES Funded: Yes
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
IES Cited: ED533088