Course Syllabus: Assessment for Linguistically Diverse Students

Course Description:
This is the first in a series of six courses that will educate you to modify, adjust, and transform your practice in ways that will enable you to support the second language and literacy development of the English Learners or Emergent Bilinguals you are teaching in your regular classroom. We use the phrase Emergent Bilinguals to remind you that your students have a native or home language different from English and if you can support them in learning English and maintaining their language and literacy in their home language they wil have an added intellectual benefit and markeatble skill--biliguality. Completion of this series of courses will lead to an ESL endorsement.
Course Purpose:
The aim is to expand each teacher's assessment literacy in general and in relationship to second language learners in particular. Through this course, teachers will learn about making assessments Useful, Meaningful, and Equitable. Teachers will become familiar with commonly used tests and techniques to identify and place ESL students in public school settings. They will learn how to develop, evaluate, and interpret tests and assessments. Teachers will develop expertise in using ongoing classroom assessment, alternative assessment, formal and informal assessments, and traditional testing to positively impact instruction and student learning. Teachers will also consider issues in high stakes testing for second language learners. The Inclusive Pedagogy Framework guides our thinking about assessing second language learners and our own growth and development as professionals.
Course Goal: 

Candidates understand issues of assessment and accommodation and will use a variety of measurement tools to evaluate English language learners for placement, proficiency and instruction.

1. Articulate issues of assessment as they affect learners’ development of English language skills, their access to the Utah core curriculum, and their placement in appropriate programs.

Assessment for Linguistically Diverse Students. This is the main textbook for this course, an instructional guide found in an open access online platform developed by Royce Kimmons (EdTech Books). The book  includes all the learning activities, homework activities, and major projects you will be using for the course. 
Gottlieb, Margo Assessing English Language Learners Bridges to Educational Equity. Corwin Press.
Learning Activities:
A variety of learning activities and assignments will be used to help students understand course concepts. Students become active participants through the use of self-assessment, reflective writing, jigsaw readings, concept application logs, portfolio work, student profiles, response papers, and technology. Assignments will focus on active learning and require individual, paired, or group work to enrich learning. These activities model the planning, teaching, and assessment strategies that can be used with language minority students. There are also homework activities that, when completed successfully contribute to the points accrued for grading. 
Attendance Policy:
This course is grounded in the belief that learning is a socially constructed process. In fact, active learning is a central feature of the course. Furthermore, the concepts presented through the video segments promote a conversational approach to learning. Concepts are immediately explored and applied through learning activities. As a result, much of the learning will take place through discussion and group activities that ask you to apply the research and theories about the teaching of English learners to your daily practice. Class discussion allows you to learn from your colleagues and to contribute to their learning; the insights of class members will be invaluable in your learning.

The experiences within the classroom cannot be reconstructed outside of class time with the facilitator or independently. Therefore, while attendance in and of itself does not count as part of your course grade, it is an important factor since recovering and reconstructing learning that occurs during class time will be difficult, if not impossible. Further, you will often be given credit for products developed during class time, and your presence is highly valued. In addition, students will usually work with colleagues and will frequently present findings and analysis during class time. For these reasons, it will be very difficult to make up class periods missed.

Grading Policy:

For the above reasons, full credit is only available to those students who attend each session and are present for the entire session. We recommend that if a teacher has to miss more than one of the eight sessions, they should be advised to take the course at another time.

In this course, your grade is based on participation in a learning process (i.e., process points) and the creation of individual and group products (i.e., individual and group product points) that emerge from participation in learning activities and homework. In addition, you will be asked to complete independent major assignments that will be evaluated for evidence of how you are learning and growing as a professional. Finally, you will present your professional development in relation to educating students of cultural and linguistic diversity in the final session of the course.

Grading Summary:
Type of Points Description Points
Process Points for participating in learning activities during class  
Homework Individual Product Points for individual products produced for homework assignments  
Practicum Points for individual or group products produced for practicum assignments  

In the next chapter in this book, you will find a Total Points sheet you can copy and use to track your points earned throughout the course.

Grading Scale: You must earn at least a B- to pass this class.

Percentage Grade
94-100% A
90-93 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-


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