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Assessment Options

Dictation is a very useful assessment for ESL students. This is when a teacher reads a passage aloud and the students write what the teacher is saying. Alternatively, this can be used when a teacher writes down what the student is saying, if written language is still a barrier for the student.

Cloze tests can be used as both a form of assessment as well as a great teaching tool. Cloze notes can benefit ESL students as well as regular education students. These are passages in which every few words are replaced with a blank space.  The student must fill in the appropriate words for the blanks. Word banks can be used or not, depending on the level of the student.

Performance based assessments are also useful for all students, both regular education as well as ESL students. Allowing the students to perform interviews, as well as skits, or any other type of oral presentations, allows all students to show their knowledge, without penalizing those who may not be able to read/write on grade level.

Physical Demonstration: Nonverbal ESL students can use physical gestures to give their answers during an assessment. For example, they can use thumbs up or thumbs down when asked yes/no questions. For example, a student could use a thumbs down sign, to show that a group of pictures were not grouped together properly.

Pictorial Products allows students to physically touch and manipulate pictures, modes, graphs etc. to show their understanding of a concept.

KWL charts can be useful to both ESL students as well as regular education students. Here, teachers can assess what the students background knowledge on a topic is, as well as reassessing them at the end of the lesson. In a KWL chart, students can show “What I KNOW,” “What I WANT to know,” and “What I LEARNED.”

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