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ERIC Number: EJ1138348
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Transnational English Language Learners Fighting on an Unlevel Playing Field: High School Exit Exams, Accommodations, and ESL Status
Alexander, Mariko Mizuno
Language Policy, v16 n2 p115-133 May 2017
Though previous research addresses the negative impact of state-mandated high school exit exams on English language learners' (ELLs) educational experiences, less attention has been given to how college-oriented ELLs, especially those who attended school in their home countries before coming to the US, handle rigorous exams or gain access to tertiary education. This paper examines how late-entrant transnational ELL students negotiate the linguistic and academic challenges imposed by high school exit exams. Qualitative analyses show that these students deliberately flunk a state-wide English proficiency test mandated by "No Child Left Behind" and maintain their ELL status in order to avoid losing ELL accommodations, without which they would have little hope of passing the exit exams. This paper argues that such intentional test-failure reveals the role of both teachers and students as policymakers in their own right. The paper further delves into the serious test validity and fairness issues entailed in language education policies in the US and sheds light on the importance of ensuring equitable treatment for ELLs and incorporating the voices of test-taking ELLs and their teachers into policymaking decisions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A