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.
We present a conceptual framework for designing and analyzing illustrations used in science assessment. This conceptual framework is intended to help test developers to systematically create and examine illustrations used in science test items. Unlike previous approaches to examining illustrations, which rely on the use of vague or polysemic terms
In this article, we describe aspects of mathematical language that could be problematic to English-language learners, provide recommendations for teaching English-language learners, and suggest activities intended to foster language development in mathematics.
Presenters share instructional materials for supporting science inquiry practices and academic language development, and seek feedback for increasing classroom implementation of materials.
The overarching goal for this session is for presenters to receive feedback on how they might increase participant implementation of the classroom materials developed in their project. Their biggest challenge is to support deeper implementation of these materials in project classrooms despite current policy contexts in project schools. Teachers regularly say they like the materials, find them valuable, and understand their purposes.
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This session includes a presentation on English Language Learners and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards, followed by discipline-based discussions.
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics and the forthcoming Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have taken shape during a period of rapidly changing student demographics and continuing science achievement gaps which emphasize issues related to English language learners. In addition to the focus on disciplinary core ideas, the new standards emphasize “practices”— mathematical practices and scientific and engineering practices—which are language intensive.
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 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
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.