NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1054002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1030-8385
NAPLaN Test Data, ESL Bandscales and the Validity of EAL/D Teacher Judgement of Student Performance
Creagh, Sue
TESOL in Context, v24 n2 p30-50 Dec 2014
Teachers are now experiencing the age of quantitative test-driven assessment, in which there is little weight accorded to teacher-based judgement about student progress. In the Australian context, the NAPLaN test has become a driving force in school and teacher accountability. The language of NAPLaN is one of bands and numerical scores and comparative performance, measuring schools against other "similar" schools and against a national average. The consequences of this are troubling for all teachers. For EAL/D teachers whose specialised professional knowledge relates to building the academic English language of EAL/D learners, NAPLaN is highly problematic because it takes no account of second language factors which might impact on test performance. Yet, NAPLaN data do offer rich yet largely unexploited opportunity to highlight the validity of teacher judgement in the classroom. This paper will use ESL Bandscale data in an analysis of the NAPLaN performance of EAL/D students to show how teacher judgement (captured by the ESL Bandscales) is valid and aligned with NAPLaN performance. I will demystify the power and the fallibility of large-scale assessment like NAPLaN: to identify in which contexts large-scale data analysis is useful, and its limitations in micro-settings which include the classroom. The second goal of this paper is to stress the utility of teacher data, measured quantitatively, but based on qualitative observation, when it is grounded in teacher professional knowledge. Ultimately, such arguments serve to highlight the importance of remaining grounded in strong TESOL pedagogy, despite the intense pressure to follow mainstream English (as first language) literacy responses to NAPLaN testing.
Australian Council of TESOL Associations. P.O. Box 2019, Smithfield, New South Wales 2164, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A