NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ880530
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
Documenting the Language Demands of Mainstream Content-Area Assessment for English Learners: Participant Structures, Communicative Modes and Genre in Science Performance Assessments
Bunch, George C.; Shaw, Jerome M.; Geaney, Edward R.
Language and Education, v24 n3 p185-214 May 2010
We report on the development and use of an analytical framework designed to articulate the language demands English learners (ELs) encounter on performance assessments such as those used in inquiry-based science classrooms. The Science Assessment Language Demands (SALD) Framework, grounded in functional and interactional views of language and language use, focuses on participant structures utilized in performance assessments, associated modes of communication called for and written texts and genres that students are required to read and produce. We employed the SALD Framework to document the range of language demands present in the performance assessments that accompany three fifth-grade science units. The assessments collectively call upon students to engage in four participant structures (whole class, small group, pair and individual), three communicative modes (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational) and a broad array of genres. These demands may present barriers with regard to ELs' ability to demonstrate their scientific knowledge and skills. On the other hand, the language involved in performance assessments may also present opportunities, both for expanding the options ELs have for demonstrating their understanding and by promoting the development of a wider repertoire of language skills than might be fostered in classrooms preparing students for more traditional assessments. (Contains 5 tables, 4 figures and 6 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A