Because language has so many facets and so many uses, different tests approach different aspects of language proficiency.
Over the years, proficiency testing has reflected changes in our understanding of language theory.
It should only be one piece of a comprehensive plan that provides accurate and useful information for each of the stakeholders and for modifying and improving programs. Can you describe the history of standardized assessment requirements in adult ESL for US federally funded programs?
In 1988, the use of standardized tests to evaluate adult education programs appeared in amendments to the Adult Education Act.
States have also established state-wide data collection systems for the recording and reporting of core measure results.
The NRS data is either aggregated at the local level and used to generate reports for the state or is sent directly to the state education office to be aggregated.
Also, see below the discussion of why it important for adult ESL programs to have a comprehensive assessment and evaluation plan as well as other questions about assessment and adult ESL addressed by CAELA consultant, Carol Van Duzer.
The Department of Education uses the data to demonstrate program effectiveness to Congress and to award grants to states that exceed their levels of performance.
A single assessment may not meet all of these demands.
For example, the results from a standardized test that funding agencies might use to compare learner gains across programs may not give information that is readily understandable by learners.
The National Reporting System was established by DOEd, working with the state directors of adult education, to facilitate the accounting and reporting process. What types of adult ESL programs are required to report learner gains to the U. The NRS has defined six ESL functioning levels which describe skills students are expected to demonstrate in listening and speaking, reading and writing, and functional and workplace skills.
The states have the flexibility to set assessment policy that includes selecting tests or assessment procedures that local programs may use for pre- and post-testing, establishing a time frame for assessment (e.g., a calendar time for testing or a number of instructional hours before post-testing), and providing training to local program staff on requirements and procedures.