A linguistic modification of science assessments for English language learners.
Lisowski, Kelly J.
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SubjectEnglish language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.; Science -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- United States.; Language and languages -- Study and teaching.; Linguistic change.; Content area reading.; Complexity (Linguistics).
Assessments can be difficult for those students who are Non-Native English Speakers (NNES). These students may not be able to fully demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities because of the linguistic complexity of the assessments. Although test accommodations may aid students to a certain degree, the linguistic complexity of test items usually appears as poor academic achievement among this subgroup of students. Therefore, assessments that are linguistically modified without diluting the content would deem beneficial for NNES. This curriculum project addresses the issue of linguistic complexity on academic content area assessments to meet the linguistic needs of NNES students. In this project, teacher-created assessments from a middle school science curriculum underwent a linguistic modification process to help make the tests more accessible to NNES. This project was designed as a tool to guide content area teachers in evaluating their own assessments for linguistic complexity to help highlight NNES’ knowledge in their classrooms.