Issues and Opportunities in Improving the Quality of Large Scale Assessment Systems for ELLs

Jamal Abedi and Robert Linquanti

This paper outlines and addresses fundamental issues in assessing English Language Learners (ELLs), including “construct-irrelevant” factors that add unnecessary difficulty to tests, as well as uses of summative versus formative assessment. The paper also highlights assessment innovations relevant to ELLs, discussing their promise and potential pitfalls.

The authors suggest ways to strengthen connections between the assessment consortia (PARCC and SBAC) and the work of next generation ELP assessment developers. In addition, they provide recommendations for policy makers toward building a more coherent overall assessment system for ELLs. 

Robert Linquanti: Large scale assessment systems and ELLs


Robert Linquanti discusses assessment for ELLs in the content areas. How can we assess content knowledge apart from language proficiency? What role can formative assessment play?

About the Authors