Bilingual Education
Bureau of Bilingual/ESL Education
» Bilingual Home «

English Language Learners (ELL) in the Mainstream

Part Four: Let's Put it All Together

Assessment Types

For classroom, non-standardized, state or federally required assessments, it is more beneficial for both the teacher and/or the ELL student to use multiple forms of assessment to track learning. Three types of assessments will provide the teacher with information on student learning, motivation, and attitudes about classroom learning are performance assessment, portfolios, and student self-assessment.

  1. Performance Assessments are evaluations in which students construct responses orally or in writing, through a formal assessment tool or in informal assessment contexts. Performance assessments include such activities as:
    • oral reports and oral interviews
    • story or content information retellings [1996, O’Malley and Valdez Pierce] Teacher Assessment Tool: Retelling (PDF).
    • individual and group projects
    • writing samples and student reports [e.g. facilitated through the use of graphic organizers] Sentence map and "5 Ws" (PDF) strategies.
    • demonstrations of content knowledge [e.g. art, music drama], and exhibitions [e.g. science fairs].
    Performance assessments require teacher judgment and, sometimes student self-assessments often through the use of observational tools such as rubrics and/or checklists.
  2. Through a Portfolio Assessment approach, teachers systematically collect samples of student work to document progress in meeting instructional goals and attainment of content knowledge. Examples of the content samples saved in a portfolio are:
    • Drawings and other art work
    • Writing samples at different stages of the writing process
    • Audio tapes of student oral readings
    • Video tapes of performance activities or student-made products
    • Power point projects
    • Reflective reading journals

Portfolios are usually assessed with such tools as:

    • Student self-assessment checklists and portfolio partner evaluations [1996, O’Malley and Valdez Pierce]
    • Evaluation summaries [teacher and student]

Portfolio Review notes [teacher and student]

  1. Student Self-assessment