This paper reports on an NSF-funded project that examines vignette illustrations (VIs) as a form of testing accommodation for English language learners (ELLs)—students who are developing English as a second language yet they are tested in English, in major assessment programs in the U.S. VIs are pictorial supports intended to make the content
In this paper, we report on a study that compares state, national, and international assessment programs as to the characteristics and functions of the illustrations used in their science test items. We used our conceptual framework for examining the characteristics of illustrations in science items (Solano-Flores & Wang, 2009, 2011) to code the illustrations of samples of items.
This paper reports preliminary results from an investigation, still in progress, on the use of verbal protocols among native Spanish-speaking, English language learners (ELLs) of various proficiency levels and background characteristics. We focus on language use among ELLs during various stages of a cognitive interview designed to probe whether and how students
In this exploratory, cross-cultural study, we examined students’ interpretations of graphic devise-based illustrations used in science tests. Graphic devices are visual components (e.g., arrows, dotted lines) intended to ensure proper understanding of the scientific processes or phenomena represented by the illustrations. We address cultural differences in terms of the interaction of two factors, students’ country of origin and items’ country of origin.
This paper introduces a coding system used to compare the ways English language learners (ELLs) and mainstream students make sense of multiple-choice science items administered in English. Thirty-nine native Spanish-speaking ELLs and thirty-nine monolingual, mainstream students participated in cognitive interviews in which they were asked to report their thinking during and after responding to science items. The coding system was developed based on the analysis of the transcriptions invoking theories of bilingualism, sociolinguistics, and reading comprehension.
This paper presents a framework and a procedure for developing vignette illustrations as a form of testing accommodation for English language learners (ELLs). Vignette illustrations are defined as illustrations added to test items originally created without illustrations, with the intent to provide a visual support for ELLs that increases their chances of accessing the content of those test items.