Assessing Literacy Skills in the ESL Classroom (Part 1)

So, You Think You Can Teach ESL?

These past few weeks, we’ve read about the four phases of literacy development in [second] language-learning. Those four phases are:

  • The Foundation Phase
  • Phase I
  • Phase II
  • Phase III

Each phase has its own set of outcomes, and strategies to achieve those outcomes. Students need to know how to read, write, and speak well enough in English to communicate with people who don’t speak their native language – whatever that language may be. But how do we track that development? We do so through testing (which nobody likes).

Assessment is a very important part of the learning process. Effective assessment aims to provide detailed, useful information to instructors, learners, and others such as parents. . In the field of ESL literacy, assessment is both critical and very challenging.

Four Key Principles for Assessment

Learner assessment should be a transparent, continuous process that gathers accurate information about learner development, and allows…

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