Assessing Language performance with the Tablet English Language Learner Assessment (TELL)

Assessing Language performance with the Tablet English Language Learner Assessment (TELL)

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Assessing Language performance with the Tablet English Language Learner Assessment (TELL)

New technologies in touch-tablet computing enable integrated combinations of language activities (listening, speaking, reading, watching, writing, manipulating) in engaging environments for students. This paper presents the development and piloting of a formative assessment with 25 different English language activities implemented on a touch-tablet (iPad) device. The performance tasks integrate combinations of the four language skills with nonlinguistic skills. For example, oral narration while watching a video, listening and moving objects around the screen, and summarizing texts in writing. The assessment uses automated speech and writing scoring and is intended for use with preK-12 students whose first language or home language is not English. The assessment was trialed with 700 English language learners and native English students. Learners’, performances were captured to provide diagnostic proficiency estimates to language standards. The paper discusses item design and development, demonstrate items, and present pilot results, including an analysis of the kinds of automatic language measurement that these items can support. The paper further discusses how information about student abilities can be used to: 1. inform English language program placement decisions 2. profile student abilities and skill levels to inform instruction 3. monitor progress to improve formative assessment information and predict performance on summative tests

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