English language learners' perceptions of high stakes assessments and accommodations.
Taylor, Alina A.
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SubjectEnglish language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.; Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System.; Second language acquisition .; Accommodation (Psychology).
English language learners (ELLs) are mandated under federal legislation to take standardized tests in mathematics, even if they arrive in the United States with limited English proficiency the day the test is given. The problem is that standardized tests, which are intended to measure knowledge and skills in a content area, really become assessments of English proficiency for ELLs. The purpose of this study was to investigate ELLs' perceptions of high-stakes assessments and the legal accommodations offered to them. The quantitative, attitudinal surveys provided information regarding students' experiences and opinions on taking the New York State Regents exam in mathematics and the accommodations they used. The researcher hypothesized that ELLs may hold negative perceptions of the New York State Regents exam in mathematics. Also, it was hypothesized that ELLs may report mixed feelings about accommodations on the exam. Data taken from the surveys were tabulated and results revealed students' mixed opinions about the exam and the accommodations they used. Participants reported the use of the following accommodations: time extension, separate location, bilingual dictionaries/glossaries, simultaneous use of English and alternative language editions, and oral translation. Overall, the present study found that high school ELLs may have negative or mixed feelings toward high stakes assessments and accommodations.