I was recently asked to complete a survey about standardized testing for ELLs in my state - NJ.
It seems there is interest in having students take the listening component of the test via a disc recording or online recording.
My initial reaction is mixed. I can certainly understand that this will "level the field" by providing that all students hear the same voice/intonation/speed,etc.
However, this would be a "new" voice for them and perhaps one that they may have difficulty discerning -while they are accustomed to the voices/nuances or accents of their teachers. Also, this would require the students to have more comfort level with technology vs. person to person communication.
What are your thoughts and experiences?
How often do you engage your students in such online activities as: listening to dialogue and instructions, following directions, etc?
How do you feel about ELLs experiencing online/recorded standardized tests?
Of course, I understand this is an important 21st Century skill, which is required of all students. Perhaps I am just feeling a bit overprotective of my younger ELLs.
I look forward to your feedback on this question.
WIDA state, right? I took that same survey.
I don't like the idea, personally. I know that it gives greater validity to the test, but only if it is administered in an equitable manner across schools, which you really can't guarantee.
I also think the option should be there to opt out of the recorded version.
As a language learner myself, I think that I recognize how much information is conveyed through stress, facial expressions, and just being able to SEE the other person. There is nothing more difficult than trying to talk on the phone in a language you are just learning.
I don't isolate listening as a skill. I wonder how many people do. I wonder if I should. But in school, how many times is it an isolated task? When students are older, they need to participate in lectures. And the whole phone issue is another example of where it would have to be an isolated skill...
Couldn't they just ask this of the older kids?
Yes, WIDA survey.
You have a great idea with the "opt out" possibility...wish I could have conveyed that in the survey!
Your point of view as an ELL yourself is so well taken personal contact is essential to language learners.
It is most unfortunate that though technology can streamline test taking procedures, it hinders or affects results on personal levels.
Great to here from you again...how are you and how has your year been going?
Not English Language Learner... German and Chinese (and at one time French and Spanish, though not as seriously...)
I think they will have to really figure out how this can be done equitably.
I am doing well. We're right in our testing window, so I very much miss teaching and am SO tired of testing. But I took the item writing course from WIDA, so at least I'm doing this with a much-changed attitude over last year. I now understand much more fully why the questions are the way they are... I'd highly recommend taking it if you haven't. Registration generally is in November.
Please forgive me, I made a such a foolish assumption!
I am so impressed with your knowledge of languages (such difficult ones, too), you are a true expert in understanding the trials when learning a new language. This must give you tremendous empathy when working with your students...how lucky for them.
Equity/parity in the testing field is necessary...but not at the expense of our children, who not only have to suffer through the WIDA, but in NJ also have to take additional NJ ASK tests....such duplication and way too much standardized testing in my opinion.
I, too, am in my testing window...busy/tedious times.
Your suggestion to take the writing course is one that I will surely consider doing so...thanks for that tip.