Annotated Bibliography: ESL Assessment

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Bassoff, Tobey. "A Time Effective Approach to Assessing ELL/ESL Students." Teachers Network.Org. n.d. .

The need to develop adequate assessment strategies is addressed by Bassoff in this simple yet engaging piece. The author notes that assessment of ESL students is a necessary feature of life but as often happens it is difficult for the teacher to provide adequate evidence for the assessment that was made. To address this imbalance the author suggests three approaches that will provide the teacher with useful tools to manage recall and fact for the purpose of assessment. The suggestions include taking snapshots for each student on paper, using visual grids and engaging a student self-assessment graph. While the style of the article was simple, it provides a rich approach to a practical problem. The work was directed towards teachers and identified practical solutions to an ongoing nuisance. If the article could be faulted, it would be for the failure to identify any empirical support for the approaches suggested.

Burt, Miriam and Fran Keenan. "Adult ESL Learner Assessment: Purposes and Tools." ERIC Digest. n.d. .

The examination of assessment approaches to ESL was the major thrust of this article. The authors noted that a problem existed with assessment and that the problem was an ongoing issue. Commercially available assessment instruments or tests were identified as possible solutions to the problem. The test were described and examined for their usefulness as described by the authors. There was a clear thought that while the commercial tests have the benefit of some empirical testing, they also have weaknesses. The major weakness being that they lack reliability, thus they do not always measure what they purport to measure. Alternatives to the commercial tests were discussed. These approaches were considered to be more learner directed and therefore be more valuable as an assessment tool. This article was written for the ear of the teacher of ESL. The piece is lively and engaging in style; with a definite attention to providing details about available options. The authors unnecessarily included a paragraph on other measures of a program's success, on which they did not elaborate. This was essentially an unnecessary inclusion in an otherwise helpful work.

Curtis, Mary E. And Ann Marie Longo. "Evaluating and Communicating Progress." When Adolescents Can't Read: Methods and Materials That Work. Series: From Reading Research to Practice: A Series for Teachers. Vol. 1. Ed. Jeanne S. Chall. Newton, MA: Brookline. 2001. 43-47.

The reading problems of adolescents are explored in this dynamic and engaging compilation. The work commences with a narrative that is designed to provide the background to understanding the articles in the compilation. The premise is that there are many adolescents who attend school; but are not literate. The reader is reminded of the disadvantages teenagers who are unable to read suffer and the types of approaches that can be used to reduce this growing problem. The authors use a developmental approach to understanding the problems adolescents have with reading. The reader is provided with the components of an effective reading program, the journey is terminated with a consideration of classroom management. This is factored into the equation because of the additional problems that are created by poor classroom management. The teacher or interested administrator who reads this work will find it a treasure trove of resources and ideas. While not dealing directly with ESL the work is very useful as it suggests techniques that can be used that have been successful with adolescents. The challenge here is that the specificity of the work means that some of the conceptual pillars may not apply when dealing with persons from a different cultural orientation. The developmental approach is useful and thus this work finds a place primarily for the developmental approach to reading.

Einhorn, Kama. Easy and Engaging ESL Activities and Mini-Books for Every Classroom: Terrific Teaching Tips, Games, Mini-Books and More to Help New Students from Every Nation Build Basic English Vocabulary and Feel Welcome.

Scholastic: New York. 2001.

Ekbatani, Glayol and Herbert Pierson, ed. Learner-Directed Assessment in ESL. Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ. 2000.

The concept of learner centered ESL curriculum is used as the basis to champion the need for more learner directed assessment. Using the work of other researchers the author advances a position that while there is a lot of talk about engaging learners in the development of assessment measures this activity remains largely the province of teachers. Thus this work focuses on the relationship between the learner and actual "language assessment processes" the work involves many of the key leaders in the discipline to address concerns such as identifying ways to advance self and teacher assessment, exploring mechanisms and mechanics of self-assessment and the concept of "self-repair" or personal correction. The remainder of the work focuses on the business of assessment with portfolios. This work is an excellent academic work and provides a more comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the issue of using portfolios. The one impediment may be that the engagement of the learner in the process appears to be limited to the use of portfolio assessment. The reader may leave without being complete convinced as to the veracity of this evaluation process. The work however provides excellent cover for the addition of some form of learner directed assessment to the process and does advance the debate positively.

Er, Eleanor. "Text Analysis and Diagnostic Assessment." Analysing English in a Global Context: A Reader. NYC: Routledge. 2001. 229-39.

Drawing on the work of the Australian Adult Migration Program (AAMP) the author identifies discourse analysis as an appropriate tool in the teaching of writing to persons who do not have an English base. The authors demonstrate how the teacher can analyze the learner's text and from that analysis identify the areas of weakness and strength. The author uses some text written by a student in the program and demonstrates in an active manner how this text should be explored. Elements such as thematic development of the work and logical relations are used to highlight components that are imperative to the assessment. A reference system is used to keep an account of "participants" throughout the work. The author concludes with a reminder that work that may be considered excellent in a ESL context, might be lacking in the wider educational community. This work is written with teachers and learners in mind. The language is simple yet it captures the critical elements of what should be said. The examination of a very different type of assessment makes this very important in the overall landscape of the literature.

"ESL and Assessment." Shambles: The Education Project Asia (TEPA). Webkeeper: Chris Smith. n.d. .

The shambles site contains a host of ESL assessment tools and activities for teachers and students. These tools include language assessment reading scales that are available in English or Spanish. The Maculaitis (MAC II) test of English language proficiency provides testing for students in the K-12 these test also include an assessment of national norms. Additional resources include an internet picture library, online practice tests and links to multiple databases that provide additional support to both teachers and students. The site offers a comprehensive array of tools and resources. The challenge is that the organization of the tools in a categorical manner appears not to be completely intuitive and there could be additional support material. The somewhat casual style may be a put off for some persons.

Freeman, David E. And Yvonne S. Freeman. "Assessing Reading." Teaching Reading in Multilingual Classrooms. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 2000. 83-95.

Reading is a very contemporary concern in today's classroom. The approach suggested by the Freemans provides a dynamic and innovate posturing of new techniques juxtaposed with proven traditions. The work is aimed at providing teachers with essential principles for teaching reading. The material is presented as a conclusive checklist that is supported with clear theoretical principles. The intent is that teachers will engage the checklist in the preparation of reading plans. Additionally the teachers will be able to engage in introspective work as they can self-assess what they are doing and do personal critiques. The highlighting of exemplary teachers and the manner in which they have successfully approached this task adds greater validity and usability to the work. The authors also take time to explore some of the knotty issues that plague reading from the perspective of parents, teachers, and administrators. This work was a refreshing and enlightening piece. It provides adequately for regular teachers and specialist teachers. Perhaps the most engaging component of the work is the highly practical approaches to getting the job done.

Forte, Imogene and Mary Ann Pangle. ESL: Games, Puzzles and Inventive Exercises. Incentive: Nashville, TN. 2001.

This work contains multiple exercises that are designed to build the language skills of non-English speakers. There are guides that assist in learning the language as well as practice exercises. The purpose of these exercises is to ensure that an array of foundational language skills is mastered by the student. Because the work is geared to the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Annotated Bibliography:

APA Format

ESL Assessment.  (2011, February 11).  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from

MLA Format

"ESL Assessment."  11 February 2011.  Web.  18 June 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"ESL Assessment."  February 11, 2011.  Accessed June 18, 2019.