Understanding K-12 English Learner Proficiency Assessments
Ahyoung Alicia Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison
English learners (ELs) comprise over 10% of the total K-12 population in the U.S. As part of the federal policy (Every Student Succeeds Act) to support ELs, they are assessed, identified, and placed in language instruction educational programs. Therefore, assessing ELs is an integral part of supporting ELs.
This talk focuses on WIDA ACCESS for ELLs (in short ACCESS), an English language proficiency assessment used across 40 U.S. states and territories, including Maryland. The presentation will begin by describing what ACCESS measures—English language development standards in the four language domains of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Next, we will learn about how students’ responses are scored across the four language domains and presented on score reports. The talk will conclude by suggesting how educators could use ACCESS scores to promote beneficial outcomes for ELs. To appropriately use ACCESS scores, educators should accurately interpret test scores. In addition, educators need to be informed regarding appropriate decisions they can make using the scores, and the potential consequences of their decisions on student outcomes.
Dr. Ahyoung Alicia Kim is a researcher at WIDA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she conducts validation research of ACCESS for ELLs and other WIDA language assessments. Her research interests include language assessment, child bilingualism, second language literacy development, and computer-assisted language learning. Prior to joining WIDA, Dr. Kim was a post-doctoral fellow with a focus on child bilingualism at Cornell University. She has also led research on large-scale English proficiency exams at Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. Over the years, she has taught TESOL and ESL courses in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Kim holds an Ed.D. in Applied Linguistics and an Ed.M. in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Free registration by e-mail to TESOL@umbc.edu