Assessment and Evaluation for Language Learners: Principles and Classroom Practices

Learn strategies and get practical tools for developing valid classroom assessments (for any content area or grade level) to reliably gauge student knowledge, create access for language learners, and inform classroom instruction.

Assessment is a critical component for educators seeking valid and reliable data about student progress and knowledge in the content and language classrooms. This interactive institute provides educators with foundational tools and strategies to plan, construct, adapt, and interpret classroom assessments. These fundamental skills can be applied to any content or language assessment used in the classroom for formative or summative purposes for any content area and grade-level.

Because classroom teachers, as well and district-level staff are often tasked with constructing and administering assessments, it is essential that classroom assessments are valid and reliable, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge and providing educators with the data they need to inform instruction. With the growing numbers of English learners being served across the U.S., the language and the format of classroom assessments must be accessible to all students and reflective of both content and language objectives.

The two-day institute will feature the CAL Assessment Toolkit developed by our subject matter experts based on decades of research and practice. The toolkit provides a comprehensive framework as well as techniques and strategies for assessment development and use. Participants will gain  a deeper understanding of underlying principles of assessment (such as validity, reliability, item formats, cultural bias and sensitivity and more)  and leave equipped with a variety of research-based practices for assessment development and adaptation. Portions of each day will be reserved for reflection and guided practice.

This useful and enlightening institute is designed for K-12 content and ESL/ELL educators. Classroom teachers, as well as coordinators, specialists, and instructional coaches are encouraged to attend. District level staff and administrators involved in assessment development will also greatly benefit from the information and practical implications of this institute.

 Participants will learn how to:

  • Identify various types and purposes of assessment
  • Analyze how to use different types of assessment appropriately in the classroom
  • Create assessment specifications that will assure validity and reliability of classroom assessment tasks
  • Recognize the differences between various formats of assessment tasks
  • Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of different assessment formats
  • Create good quality classroom assessment tasks of various formats
  • Analyze language demands of various assessment formats
  • Adapt classroom assessments in order to make them accessible to ELs of various proficiency levels
  • Create good quality content and language assessment rubrics for effective evaluation of English learners
  • Meaningfully analyze data from classroom assessments to differentiate instruction OR to customize student learning?
  • Leverage knowledge gained from assessments to inform and differentiate classroom instruction and boost student success

Attendees will receive the CAL Assessment Toolkit, an informative and useful packet of tools and strategies with hands-on guidance on how to plan, develop and adapt classroom assessments. The CAL Assessment Toolkit will contain information on the following: 

  • CAL Assessment Framework Overview and instructional cycle
  • Constructs & Principles of validity and reliability
  • Test specifications template (including possible adaptations for ELs)
  • Sample Inventory of Item Types and adaptations
  • Item Development Guidelines
  • Bias and Sensitivity Guidelines and Checklist
  • Rubric Guidelines and Checklist
  • Rubric templates

Certificate of Completion
Participants will receive a CAL Certificate of Completion which may be used for continuing education credit.

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