At the recent AERA annual conference in San Francisco, Margaret Heritage, Aida Walqui, and Robert Linquanti wrote "Formative Assessment As Contingent Teaching and Learning: Perspectives on Assessment As and For Language Learning in the Content Areas". This paper builds on our prior work from the past 18 months with a specific focus on the classroom-centered practices of formative assessment -- and, on how formative assessment can support contingent teaching and learning for English Language Learners.
This paper first defines formative assessment and discusses how its practice is implemented in the classroom by both teachers and students. Then, the authors explore developing teacher expertise to engage in formative assessment in the education of ELLs in an era of new standards. Lastly, the authors examine how educational policymakers can foster use of formative assessment practice by teachers of ELLs.