Language Language Acquisition Proficiency Testing Translators English Language Learners LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Quiz (True/ False): 2nd Language Acquisition • Bilingual education delays, if not prevents, LEP students form learning English. • LEP students have more oral-language special education deficits. • All bilingual education programs are the same; therefore if they are in bilingual ed they cannot be described as having “lack of educational opportunity.” • You only have to test a child in their native language if/ when they can’t talk to you in English or if they are in bilingual ed/ESOL. Some Stats • ~16% of LEP students scored above the state norm on English reading measures • ~30% of LEP students scores above the state norm when tested in reading in their own language • 8.7% of LEP students in grades 7 to 12 had been retained. • Drop=out rates – 24.2%: non-English spoken at home – 9.6%: English spoken at home – 17.6%: Students with SLD What are we asking? The degree to which the ELL student’s academic problems due to a disability. vs. The degree to which the ELL student’s academic problems due to pedagogically induced factors. LEP Instructional Programs • ESL/ ESOL (no native language instruction – Content-Based ESL/ Sheltered English – Pullout ESL • Bilingual Education (some native language instruction) – Transitional/ Early-Exit Bilingual Education • Usually last for 2-4 years. • Initially use L1 as foundation and transition to L2 – Maintenance/ Late-Exit/ Developmental Bilingual Education • Usually last for 4-6 years. • Use L1 for longer time and for more than just language arts. – Two-Way/ Dual-Language Bilingual Education Bilingual Education Two-Way/ Dual Language • English as L1 or another language as L1 are placed together (goal = 50/50). • The goal is for both English as L1 and other language as L1 will be bilingual in both languages. • Program provided for at least 4-6 years (usually starts at Kindergarten). • Instruction is taught (goal is usually 50/50) in both L1 and L2. Research for Bilingual Education • Small scale (low number of subjects) research tends to have different findings (pro and con) for success of bilingual education. • The only large scale study that did not find positive results for bilingual education (over ESOL) had serious methodological problems. • One thing to note, even amongst the larger scale studies, Thomas and Collier (1997) was the first to measure students longitudinal success (see next slide) Thomas & Collier (1997) Grade Level An ELL need to obtain CALP in L1 in order to get CALP in L2 An ELL need to obtain CALP in L1 in order to get CALP in L2 An ELL need to obtain CALP in L1 in order to get CALP in L2 An ELL need to obtain CALP in L1 in order to get CALP in L2 Quote: Cummins (1984) “Minority language students are frequently transferred from bilingual to English-only classrooms when they have developed superficially fluent English communicative skills.” English Language Learners PROFICIENCY TESTING Why Test 1st Language? • To determine the appropriateness of the child’s classroom setting. • To determine the language for future testing. • To determine the impact that language proficiency may have on testing data. • To determine if the areas of concern are a result of a real disability or simply a reflection of the normal process of 2nd language acquisition. Same fact over and over. • A true disability must be apparent in both languages. • You can not be disabled in English and not be disabled in your native language. • If you are experiencing significant difficulty in English, this must be supported as significant difficulty in your first language to be considered a disability. You must take into account prior academic knowledge of L1 when considering this. Formal & Informal Methods • Formal methods (examples) – WMLS-R – IDEA – BEST-Plus – WLPB-R • Informal methods (examples) – Basic conversation – Observations with peers – Interviews with parents and teachers Formal and Informal Methods Include • Formal methods: surface components are examined: – Phonology – Morphology – Syntax – Grammar – Vocabulary • Informal methods: – Real-life use of language • Use BOTH for a complete picture. Testing should measure… • BICS and CALP • Measure both languages • Receptive and Expressive Skills • Current language skills (data more than 6 months old is OUTDATED) What is a good test? • • • • Norming properties Psychometric factors (reliability and validity) Skills assessed Theoretical foundation used to develop the measure • Extent to which the instrument incorporates the language proficiency practices just described Things to look out for . . . • Translated into another language, but not renormed. • Translated into another language with no concern as to how item difficulty might impact basals and ceilings. • No norms at all • Poor reliability and validity in newly normed language. • Only reliability and validity reported for original language. • What country were norms generated? • New immigrants or 2nd-3rd generation in norming sample. • Language testing incorporates all dialects as possible choices. • Tests are created in a manner as to be culturally biased in the questions asked. • Looks at only one component in language. • Does not use authentic language. What do you do when no good test exists? • Use multiple sources of data (this should be standard practice even with great tests). • Incorporate informal and formal measures in your assessment plan (this should be done anyway). • Describe any significant weaknesses of a measure in your interpretation of the results. Two Respected Language Proficiency Measures • Basic Inventory of Natural Language: This test can be used for more than 30 languages and is used to test students in grades kindergarten through 12. Students are shown large pictures, which the students individually discuss orally. Their taped explanations are then scored using measurements such as sentence complexity and length. • Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey-Revised: This individually administered test is for ages 4 through adult and measures listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. http://spanish.about.com/library/questions/blq-fluencytests.htm WMLS-R: Provides CALP CALP score: – 1 = negligible – 2 = very limited – 3 = limited – 4 = fluent – 5 = advanced Informal Methods • Observations: academic and social settings. • Questionnaires: parents and teachers answer openended questions. • Rating Scales: Uses Likert scales for teacher and parent input. • Storytelling: Have the child tell you a story and evaluate that story. • Cloze Techniques: Student completes a sentence or phrase presented. • Language Samples: Obtained through direct conversation, observations in class, or anywhere that the child talks Informal Language Testing • Many of the previously described methods have previously published methods of conducting the informal assessment. – Observations: BOLD – Questionnaires: Bilingual Proficiency Questionnnaire – Teacher Rating Scale: SOLOM • Make sure that you are familiar with how to produce CBM before you make your own informal measure of language assessment. Factors When Interpreting Language Proficiency Data • Context of previous educational services and home literacy factors. – Does child have CALP in L1? – What type of bilingual education? – Does the child receive formal language instruction in L1 outside of school? • Compare the ELL with other ELLs – CALP scores significantly different from language learning peers? – Do teachers note any significant difference from language learning peers? – Any significant difference from language learning peers? Factors When Interpreting Language Proficiency Data • Consistency of data across formal and informal measures – If there is a difference, you need to find out why this occurs. • Additional Caveats in Interpretation – Dominance only shows if a child is better in tested aspects of language assessed and not child’s overall language skills. – Just because a child is dominant in one language over another, this does not mean that the child has sufficient language skills to just test in that language. – Presence or absence of an accent does not indicate proficiency or dominance. It just shows what age the learner picked up either language. Quiz Answers: 2nd Language Acquisition • Bilingual education delays, if not prevents, LEP students form learning English. (FALSE) • LEP students have more oral-language special education deficits. (FALSE) • All bilingual education programs are the same; therefore if they are in bilingual ed they cannot be described as having “lack of educational opportunity.” (FALSE) • You only have to test a child in their native language if/ when they can’t talk to you in English or if they are in bilingual ed/ESOL. (FALSE) English Language Learners TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS Definitions • Interpreter: conveys information from L1 to L2 orally • Translator: conveys information from L1 to L2 in writing. Working with Interpreters Work with trained interpreters familiar with the student’s culture and regional area of origin. Know how to train interpreters when needed. Knowledge of the skills needed by qualified interpreters Aware of problems inherent in the process of translation. Knowledge of the psychological impact of using interpreters during assessment and intervention activities. Working with Interpreters Knowledge and skills in interviewing and assessing individuals through interpreters. Examine data obtained through interpreters with extreme caution and acknowledge the limitations of such data. Assessment results obtained through interpreters are described as such and are reported qualitatively. Where do you find an interpreter? • • • • Smaller Towns Hospitals Court Houses Police Stations Churches • • • • Larger Cities Embassies Colleges & Universities Government Offices Translator Services Online Options • American Speech and Hearing Association Website • proz.com • translationcentral.com Criteria for Selection of Interpreter • Equally fluent in English and the native language • Have a minimum of a high school diploma. • Be able to: – – – – – – – Accurately translate from L1 to L2 Be sensitive to the style of the speaker Adjust to linguistic variations Know about the culture of the speaker Familiar with educational terms Understand their role in the IEP meeting Flexible People who should not be interpreters • • • • Friends of the student or his/her family. Family members of the student Possibly the student’s teacher Anyone who is also attending the same school as the student (another student) • Anyone who is not fluent in both languages • Anyone who cannot be impartial about this child • Anyone who does not understand confidentiality issues and the importance of FERPA and test confidentiality. Translator/ Interpreter Training • Special education terms in both English and other language. • Procedures for any meetings for which they are translating. • Basic rules for assessments. • Basic techniques for assessments. • Overview and practice joint administration of tests in the target language. • Legal and ethical guidelines needed to work as a translator. • Basic knowledge of 2nd language acquisition. Translator/ Interpreter Training • Know the purpose of the session and any materials needed. • Ask questions when you are unclear. • Introduce yourself and everyone else • Interpret everything (not just the gist) do not make assumptions that this bit of information is unimportant and doesn’t need translating. • Remain neutral throughout. • Maintain confidentiality throughout. Interpreter Code of Ethics • Keep all information strictly confidential. • Always convey the content and spirit of the message in a manner understandable by all. • Shall not counsel, advice, or interject personal opinions. • Only accept assignments for which qualified. • Fee information is decided upfront. • Be respectful to all persons involved. • Shall attend any additional training needed and study current literature of the field. Tips when using interpreters… • Allow time before testing to train the interpreters (long before) and reacquaint the interpreters (right before) with tests. • Speak in short, simple sentences. • Avoid idioms or jargon. • Use specific terms. • Allow time to translate all messages. • Frequently check for understanding. • For first one or two times, have someone else sit in who speaks both languages to evaluate. More tips… • • • • • • • • Speak naturally in brief but complete sentences. Look at the person talking, not the interpreter. Monitor facial expressions for confusion. Monitor body language to judge acceptance of the information. Allow extra time for this type of testing and these types of meetings in your schedule. You administer the tests, not the translator. Allow for breaks when needed. Nothing said should be left out of translation.