Testing vs. Alternative Forms of Assessment Term Paper

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Testing vs Alternative Forms of Assessment

Summary of "Testing vs. alternative forms of assessment"

Standardized tests, if used appropriately, can provide useful information about a non-native speaking student's skills and abilities. But such tests must not be used as the exclusive instrument to test a child's potential for success and need for academic remediation and support. Standardized tests provide incomplete and imperfect information because of ESL students' cultural as well as linguistic fluency (Law & Eckes 2007, p.23). Also, norming such tests is controversial, since by definition, half of the test takers 'have' to fall below the average (Law & Eckes 2007, p.23). Standardized tests also fail to give a complete portrait of the experiences of the test taker. Inadequate academic preparation, nervousness due to a lack of familiarity with the testing process, emotional distress in the new environment, as well as a smaller English vocabulary can all impact the child's score.

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Testing vs. assessment is an important distinction to keep in mind. A test is simply a snapshot of a single point in time, and a one-dimensional portrait of a child's ability, often in a timed, formal, multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank standardized format. Assessment is a much broader category of evaluation of a child's potential and abilities (Law & Eckes 2007, p.35). Alternative assessment is one solution to the problem of assessing ESL or special needs students. Portfolios, interviews, and other non-quantitative methods by trained professionals can provide a more valuable portrait of a child's skill level. However, the use of such methods demands more skilled administrators, and can be cumbersome and subjective. If classroom teachers give such assessments, they may already have preconceived notions about the child's ability, and may not be able to fully understand how limits in English impact the child's ability to express him or herself because of their own lack of training in dealing with ESL students (Law & Eckes 2007, p.36).

Chapter 3: Summary of "Identification and placement"

Term Paper on Testing vs. Alternative Forms of Assessment Assignment

Five stages of English assimilation of ESL students have been identified. Level 1: Entering, is divided into the following sections:… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Testing vs. Alternative Forms of Assessment."  Essaytown.com.  January 26, 2010.  Accessed August 5, 2020.
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