Summary of Literature on Empirical Studies of the Validity and Effectiveness of Test Accommodations for ELLs: 2005–2012

The goal of this literature summary is to review studies of the validity and effectiveness of test accommodations for English language learners (ELLs) not included in the Pennock-Roman and Rivera (2011) meta-analysis of mean effects. The former meta-analysis included 14 studies through 2005. The current, updated literature review identified articles related to the use of test translation and dual language, glossary and dictionary accommodations, and linguistically simplified English versions of tests. This summary includes a discussion of the methodology for conducting the literature review. The annotated bibliography and primary variables for the studies are included in Appendix A

Content Comments 

This review clearly states its purpose and methodology in reaching the following conclusion, “still many gaps in the research on accommodations for ELLs, the emerging evidence supports the view that practitioners must tailor the choice of accommodations for ELLs to the students’ proficiency skills in English and their native language together with their instructional history." This resource is well-organized with clear findings and detail of studies reviewed in Appendices. The clarity of reporting primary findings should inform practice relative to accommodations for ELLs relative to assessments. This result of the studies reviewed "implies that written versions of native language tests are effective only for ELLs who have literacy skills in the native language and who are familiar with the content vocabulary in their native language." This finding is relevant to those considering accommodations and the paper provides more detailed review of cited literature in Appendix A.