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Imp. K-12 lang. asses. frame. sys-wide in 2 CAN prov.: Imp. for concep. validity & reform-based test
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Abstract

Language has become a significant policy issue in the educational context, highlighting the need for alignment between language assessment and social and political realities. Recently, several Canadian provinces have developed and implemented English language assessment frameworks to identify, monitor and report on students’ English language proficiency development, and to demonstrate equity and accountability for the academic opportunities of newcomer and Canadian-born students who are learning curriculum content and the language of instruction at the same time. These frameworks articulate an operational definition of English language proficiency in the classroom context, promoting shared understanding of students’ language learning processes, and building teacher capacity to respond to students’ language teaching and learning needs. Discussing findings from empirical investigation into the development and use of these frameworks in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada’s most linguistically diverse provinces, this paper highlights the profound impact of language assessment on building system-wide capacity to support English language learners in these two contexts. At the same time, schools and educators shape interpretation and use of the assessments, negotiating and enacting language policy along the way. What are the implications for education reform? What comprises the consequences of conceptualizing and evaluating multilingual students’ linguistic resources in this way? And what validity evidence has contributed to addressing these concerns?

Summary

Discussing findings from empirical investigation into development and use of English language assessment frameworks in K-12 education in two Canadian provinces, this paper highlights the impact of language assessment on building system-wide capacity to support English language learners, and the consequences of conceptualizing and evaluating multilingual students’ linguistic resources in this way.

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