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In this section of the module, you will explore background information that is relevant to reporting the progress and achievement of English language learners.
Read the key messages for this module and prepare to discuss the questions below.
What are the different purposes for reporting progress and achievement to:
Think about or discuss with colleagues:
The English Language Learning Progressions is effective with a wide range of learners, including:
The English Language Learning Progressions provides:
Please note: The English Language Learning Progressions are valuable for all of the purposes described above, even if schools choose not to use them for reporting to parents, families, and whānau.
Teachers use several sources of information to place a student on the appropriate stages of The English Language Learning Progressions.
Teachers draw on a variety of information from a range of sources, including assessment tools, learning conversations, and observations.
The process of making an overall teacher judgment is similar for all students, but there are some important points of difference for English language learners.
When assessment tools that have been norm referenced for students whose first language is English are used with an English language learner, the results may lead their teacher to make inappropriate judgments about aspects of the student’s ability, for example:
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For general information and guidelines on using appropriate assessment processes, see ESOL Progress Assessment Guidelines - Using assessment tools and processes in diagnosing the needs and monitoring the progress of English language learners.
Moderation with a classroom teacher and an ESOL teacher
In many schools, a classroom teacher and an ESOL teacher can work together to moderate their overall teacher judgments in relation to the ELLP stages. This is a valuable process as each professional brings different knowledge of and perspectives on a student.
Moderation in groups
Moderation may also involve teachers in a group, either within a school or from different schools. Local ESOL cluster meetings and ESOL workshops are possible contexts for supporting this process of group moderation.
In this section of the module, you will explore reporting learners’ progress and achievement to parents in secondary schools. This includes:
Relevant aspects of the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) are:
NAG 1: (c) on the basis of good quality assessment information, identify students and groups of students:
NAG 2: (c) report to students and their parents on the achievement of individual students, and to the school's community on the achievement of students as a whole and of groups (identified through NAG 1(c) above).
The progress and achievement of secondary English language learners may be reported to parents in relation to the listening, speaking, reading, and writing matrices in ELLP rather than in relation to the English curriculum levels.
For all students, it is critical that TheLiteracy Learning Progressions and the NCEA literacy requirements, which are signposts for age or year-appropriate achievement, are the long-term goal.
This diagram from The English Language Learning Progressions illustrates the relationships between the progress of English language learners in acquiring proficiency in English and the levels in the learning areas of the curriculum.
You could copy this diagram and the explanation of the relationship between learning in the curriculum learning areas and learning English from the PDF and use them to support your discussions with parents, families, and whānau. You could use them as part of a school report and/or as a prompt when conferencing with parents, families, and whānau.
The key points in the diagram and the relationship between students’ progress in English language learning and their learning across the curriculum in secondary school are summarised below.
Generally, English language learners’ progress and achievement in curriculum learning areas is reported in relation to the year-appropriate curriculum levels.
Students learn through language and, to a great extent, display their knowledge and understanding through language. At all times, teachers need to know the English language proficiency level of English language learners, their learning needs, and the implications of this for displaying their knowledge and understanding in curriculum learning areas.
For many new learners of English, the language demands of norm-referenced standardised assessment tools may mean that an assessment does not measure their performance in the learning area accurately (ESOL Progress Assessment Guidelines, Ministry of Education, 2005, p. 5).
Teachers need to make judgments about a student’s readiness for participating in assessment procedures. Teachers base these judgments on information they gain from regular formative assessment during daily lessons, balanced by a sense of urgency and a need for accelerated progress.
At times there is a mismatch between teacher and/or student expectations and assessment results. Teachers will need to explore with the student whether the results can be attributed to difficulties with the language of a task or a lack of subject conceptual knowledge and understanding. Comments on reports reflect learning and achievement in language and subject knowledge.
Think about or discuss with colleagues:
Teachers may find it useful to use The English Language Learning Progressions matrices or exemplars as a source for specific comments and “next learning steps”.
The PDF documents below provide possible models that schools can adapt to suit the school format. It may be necessary to create a specific format for English language learners so that these students are reported against the stages in The English Language Learning Progressions and/or against curriculum levels.
In successful Community engagement, the school both communicates well and listens effectively to their parent community.
Schools may have groups of parents who would benefit from having important educational messages translated into their home languages. In some cases, the school needs to organise translations. In other cases, translated written materials may be available from the Ministry of Education.
Parents should always have opportunities to discuss and ask questions about their children’s learning.
This section of the module will support you to lead the professional development and learning of others in your school.
This section has some specific ideas about how you might use this online material with other teachers to develop knowledge about tracking, monitoring, and reporting English language learners’ progress.
The content of the module contains some key messages for teachers. You could copy these messages as a prompt for your discussions.
Can you identify which students should have their progress and achievement monitored, tracked, and reported in relation to the ELLP stages?
Read and discuss the scenarios below, using these questions and instructions to guide your discussions.
Scenario 1: Mei came to New Zealand when she was five and attended primary school in Auckland for 18 months. She then went back to China and has returned to New Zealand at the beginning of year 9. She is at Stage 2 in oral language and Stage 1 in writing and reading. Her writing in Mandarin, her first language, has been assessed by the Mandarin teacher as being below the level expected for a student of her age.
Scenario 2: Afia has just started school in New Zealand in year 10. He speaks gagana Sāmoa fluently. In his writing in gagana Sāmoa, he tells us that he has been living in a small village in Sāmoa. The gagana Sāmoa teacher explained that Afia was able to express some complex ideas in this writing and that the content shows he has strong Samoan values. His English is at Stage 2 in oral language and Stage 1 in writing and reading.
Scenario 3: Bikram is a 17 year old Bhutanese boy (year 12). He was born in a refugee camp in Nepal and spent the first 16 years of his life there before being settled in New Zealand. He’d had schooling in English in the refugee camp before coming to New Zealand. His ESOL teacher has assessed his English proficiency at Stage 2 in oral language, reading, and writing. Bikram has a sound understanding of mathematics and has gained some credits in level 2 chemistry, maths, and physics. He is very keen to go to university.
Scenario 4: Rajeev is 17 years old (year 12) and was born in Fiji. He came to New Zealand when he was 14 years old and speaks Hindi and English fluently. He is having more difficulty with reading and writing in English. Rajeev’s ESOL teacher last year determined he was at ELLP Stage 4 in oral language and Stage 3 in reading and writing. He is not having any specific ESOL support this year.
Who are the English language learners in your school?
Examine your school enrolment information and ensure you have a picture of the cultural and linguistic diversity in your school. Does your enrolment form ensure you collect all of the important and relevant information about each student?
Use the school enrolment information to identify students who would benefit from being tracked and monitored using the matrices in the ELLP.
Reporting to parents
Examine the models provided in this module and/or analyse your current school reports from the perspective of your English language learners and their families. Do the reports fulfil the requirements of the NAGs? Are there any aspects of your reports that need to be adapted or changed?
Look for evidence of:
Discuss with colleagues your current school reporting formats. Record comments and ideas on the table attached.
Analyse the school-wide achievement data for English language learners that is reported to the Board of Trustees.
Review the progress of groups such as:
What are the strengths of individual students and groups of students? What are the learning needs of these students? Which intervention and support has been most effective for individual students and groups of students? How can you support teachers to incorporate identified effective practice into their teaching?
Published on: 18 Dec 2015