|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Learning Pedagogy Languages Language development|
English Language Learners (ELLs) comprise of a growing large sub-population of students across the country. ELL teachers face a myriad of challenges in teaching and assessing non-native English speaking students. For example, it is difficult for ELL teachers to know whether all of their students possess the same comprehension of the English language. This is because the ELL classroom is always arranged by age or grade and not English proficiency. Furthermore, delivering content that easily comprehensible by students is a difficult task for ELL teachers. Not to mention, during assessments, ELL teachers play a huge role. ELLs are a diverse group of people with varying English performances. These assessments help teachers to track the progress of their ELL students. Due to the country's education system, the proper assessment of ELLs is needed. The paper discusses three roles the ELL teachers play during ELL assessments.
The first role ELL teachers play is that of the instructor. Rasmussen (2010) affirmed that in an ELL assessment environment, the instructional component is significant. The author indicated that students look up to the teachers for the explanations on vocabulary, spellings, and pronunciations. She added that in their role as instructors during assessments, teachers ought to be clear and thorough because students depend on them to discover new components of information during the assessments. Also, she talked about the concepts of opportunity for practice and learning. According to the author, the teacher's role is to give students opportunities to absorb their instruction during assessments. Additionally, Daniel & Pray (2016) discussed complex cumulative learning where he mentioned that the importance of instruction for multilingual students is to avoid cultural biases. Rasmussen (2010) emphasizes content knowledge as a significant aspect of instruction during ELL assessments. Furthermore, she recommended teachers to take into consideration as part of constructs during their instruction in assessments as well as avoid unnecessary linguistic complexities during developmental stages to enhance validity and fairness for ELLs.
The second role ELL teachers play is to act upon the gaps between the student's current status and desired learning goals. Rasmussen (2010) indicated that teachers have to conceptualize assessments as continuous measurements and ongoing activities that have to do with gathering, interpreting, and evaluating information as well as action based on results instead of documentation of student's performance. The author talked of formative assessments and how they ought to incorporate all the mentioned components to facilitate the learning process. According to the author, in acting upon the gaps between the student's current status and their desired learning goals, teachers have to emphasize fairness and allow students to demonstrate success. In the current educational context, teachers have to meet accountability during ELL assessments in the classroom (Rasmussen, 2010). Furthermore, Engineering, and Medicine National Academies of Sciences, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Youth, and Families Board on Children, Board on Science Education, Committee on Supporting English Learners in STEM Subjects, Stephens & Francis (2019) discussed that effective feedback plays an important role in reducing the gap between student's current understanding and desired goals. According to the author, providing feedback to students during their formative assessments is significant because students would know how their learning is progressing. The author mentioned that effective feedback answers three questions that include where am I going? How am I going? Where to Next? Undeniably, ELL teachers can bridge the gaps of ELLs by conceptualizing assessments and providing feedback.
The third role ELL teachers play is to act as motivators. Rasmussen (2010) mentioned an example of a teacher who faced challenges teaching ELLs. The teachers asserted that during ongoing assessments, she provided rubrics beforehand to increase student's motivation to learn as it guides their learning. According to the teacher, engagement with the students was the key to facilitating the learning process (Rasmussen, 2010). This engagement can be done through class discussions. Daniel & Pray (2016) asserted that developing interactive activities during assessments is crucial to student development. Furthermore, to increase student's motivation, the teacher indicated that she took incremental steps to perform structured brainstorming to guide the assessment questions in plain language and enable students to focus on their work throughout the entire process (Rasmussen, 2010). Most importantly, the teacher mentioned that one of the keys to success was engaging students through the formative assessment process and allowing discussions to take place in the English or their native language because it would boost their motivation to learn the English language (Rasmussen, 2010). This is an effective role that ELL teachers could take during assessments.
Overall, ELL teachers have to ensure that they meet the student's current educational standards. Assessments enhance ELLs learning in a myriad of ways such as testing for the student's English mastery and proficiency. With that in mind, ELL teachers have to take up the mentioned roles to ensure that they gauge their student's performance effectively during the assessments. Most importantly, teachers have to know how to present tasks during the assessments. This would ensure that ELLs understand the questions and prompts. Generally, teachers should provide meaningful assessments to their ELLs by considering the content by large to demonstrate the student's English language competency.
Engineering, and Medicine National Academies of Sciences., Division of Behavioral and Social
Sciences and Education, Youth, and Families Board on Children., Board on Science Education, Committee on Supporting English Learners in STEM Subjects., Stephens, A., & Francis, D. (2019). English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Daniel, S., & Pray, L. (2016). Learning to Teach English Language Learners: A Study of
Elementary School Teachers' Sense-Making in an ELL Endorsement Program. TESOL Quarterly. DOI:10.1002/tesq.347.
Rasmussen, M. (2010). Issues in the Assessment of English Language Learners. AccELLerate,vol. 2, Issue 4. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242581502_Issues_in_the_Assessment_of_English_Language_Learners
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