Examining the Use of Language and Literacy Assessments With Young Dual Language Learners

As states and local agencies strive to serve the language and learning needs of dual language learners (DLLs), they may have difficulty since little is known about effective assessment practices for young DLLs. To gain accurate and useful information about DLLs, agencies must first have a procedure for knowing which language would be the best choice for assessing each child—something that is not easily determined for young DLLs who may be equally competent in both languages—and then choosing the most appropriate and proven assessment. Research studies offer some insights about common practices which agencies can use to consider their own procedures and policies. This report examines the assessments used in research studies of language and literacy development for DLLs in the United States and Canada. Researchers analyzed 79 studies to gain insight into the prevalence of certain methods for determining the language of assessment to be used and examine evidence for the reliability and validity of assessments. The findings of this study can assist state and local educational agencies in evaluating their procedures and assessment choices for the measurement of the language skills in DLLs.

Content Comments 

The study is presented in an academic format and accompanied by appendices of resources to help make the information more accessible, including assessment information, a glossary of acronyms, and definitions for key dimensions of vocabulary, language, and literacy. This resource may likely be most helpful to state and district assessment coordinators and educators at early education centers seeking to make decisions about policies and procedures for dual language assessment.