[Assessment 1241] Re: Observation checklist

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JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall crandall at umbc.edu
Sun Feb 10 19:10:21 EST 2008


Mary Jane,

Thanks for this clear answer. It's great that you are able to use both --
and I can see the benefits of doing so.

It would be interesting to hear from others who use more than one test,
not only why they use it, but also how they are able to do so.

Jodi

> Practically, because I am able to. We have the trained staff. It is good

> for them to all use the skills.

>

> Theoretically, because one test is not sufficient assessment. Also, CASAS

> is a listening test. BEST is a speaking test.

>

> Financially, because I never know which test will produce the better score

> for reporting.

>

> Mary Jane

>

> Jodi Crandall <crandall at umbc.edu> wrote: Mary Jane,

>

> Why are you using two oral post-tests?

>

>

> Jodi

> On Feb 8, 2008, at 3:43 PM, Mary Jane Jerde wrote:

>

> Hi,

>

> The focus of class is speaking, so I don't give the students any scale

> score reading or writing tests. Giving two oral post-tests takes enough

> time.

>

> For class I do test the various skills.

>

> Mary Jane

>

> Jodi Crandall <crandall at umbc.edu> wrote: Mary Jane,

>

> Thanks for sharing your experiences.

>

>

> Do you also use a reading and/or writing test at any of the adult ESOL

> levels?

>

>

> Jodi

> On Feb 7, 2008, at 7:18 PM, Mary Jane Jerde wrote:

>

> As an ESL instructor who has used BEST Plus for pre-test and post-test

> scoring in grant funded classes, I have found the test to be an accurate

> gauge of student placement and growth in English.

>

> One advantage is that I have been able to test new students myself and

> have post-testing done by various other ABE or ESL instructors. They were

> all trained by BEST Plus staff. Before a test session the examiner and I

> go through a review. I have sat with the examiners for initial post-test

> sessions to have them gain confidence in their abilities. But I had faith

> that a "subjective" test could be accurate because I had used BEST for

> seven years in a refugee program and knew it's value for placement.

>

> The program does a fine job of adjusting level of difficulty based on

> feedback from responses.

>

> Is one test ever enough? No. But I have enjoyed the benefit of being able

> to use both CASAS and BEST Plus in smaller community programs.

>

> Mary Jane Jerde

> ESL Instructor

> Howard Community College

>

>

>

> "Cohen, Jonathan" <Jonathan.Cohen at dol.state.nj.us> wrote: Good

> reply.

> Jon

>

> Jonathan Cohen

> Workforce Readiness & Literacy

> NJ Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development

>

>

> ---------------------------------

>

> From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]

> On Behalf Of Michelle Ueland

> Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 4:10 PM

> To: The Assessment Discussion List

> Subject: [Assessment 1158] Re: Observation checklist

>

>

>

> Dear Assessment Listserv Members,

> It is with great interest that we have been following this discussion

> regarding one of our assessments, BEST Plus, and its use for oral

> proficiency meaurement on initial placement and learner progress.

> As other assessments have been brought into the discussion, we would

> like to provide the following clarification, taken verbatim from the

> DLIELC Website: http://www.dlielc.org/testing/ALCPT.html : "DLIELC

> conducts English language proficiency testing using the Oral Proficiency

> Interview (OPI), a face-to-face or telephonic interview, and the English

> Comprehension Level (ECL) test, a multiple choice test of listening and

> reading comprehension. (The ECL test is provided to authorized US

> Government users only.) DLIELC also makes available the American

> Language Course Placement Test (ALCPT) for English language programs

> conducted outside of DLIELC. Achievement testing of American Language

> Course (ALC) objectives is conducted using book quizzes and performance

> tests, which can be obtained with the course materials."

> According to the April 2007 edition of the Handbook for the American

> Language Course Placement Test (ALCPT): "The most important

> consideration under the general topic of test security is test

> compromise. One of the easiest ways to compromise any test is through

> its inappropriate use." Given the definitions above, there are many

> reasons to question the appropriateness of using any of the above

> mentioned tests with the adult ESL population in the U.S.

> Currently, BEST Plus is the only assessment developed specifically for

> use with adult English language learners in educational programs, which

> simultaneously measures adults' listening and speaking skills. As the

> BEST Plus Level Gain study shows (

> http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/levelgain.html ), more hours equals

> more gains, whether that be during one academic year (intensity of

> instruction) or over an adult's lifetime (persistence as a learner).

> Furthermore, this study also shows that not only is BEST Plus

> appropriate for initial placement, but it is also a good measure of

> student progress. In many ways, BEST Plus brings the knowledge and

> design of other oral proficiency instruments to the field of adult ESL

> in a highly accessible manner. Test administrations are relatively

> inexpensive when compared to the high cost of other oral proficiency

> assessments, the results accurate and immediate, and for the first time,

> instructors are able to confirm many of their "gut

> instinct" and "handshake" evaluations based on their expertise and

> familiarity with the adult ESL population in a standardized manner that

> is scored by a common rubric.

> In regard to test administrator training, another advantage to BEST Plus

> is that ESL instructors are able to engage in professional development

> in the area of proficiency assessment. Across the country, responses to

> BEST Plus training are overwhelmingly positive. Our core of trainers

> does fantastic work to educate practitioners about the differences

> between being a good teacher and being a good standardized test

> administrator, in addition to training test administrators to administer

> and score BEST Plus. Furthermore, there are several opportunities for

> previously trained test administrators to recalibrate their scoring

> accuracy through the use of the Scoring Refresher Toolkit within their

> local programs and states. In this way, programs can confirm their

> inter-rater reliability, as CAL has also done during the development and

> design of BEST Plus. We would encourage anyone interested in finding out

> more about the design of BEST Plus and its high rate of inter-rater

> reliability to read the BEST Plus Technical Manual.

> Finally, we hope that programs using BEST Plus continue to see the

> benefits of providing adults ESL learners with data regarding their oral

> proficiency level and progress. Particularly adults with many

> commitments need this type of information offered at their convenience

> locally by their service providers. By knowing their levels, program

> directors and instructors can to continue to make instructional and

> programatic decisions based on learner needs and to assist the learners

> in their own educational goal setting.

> Michelle M. Ueland

> Adult ESL Assessments

> Center for Applied Linguistics

>

>

> ---------------------------------

>

> From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]

> On Behalf Of Jodi Crandall

> Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 3:27 PM

> To: The Assessment Discussion List

> Subject: [Assessment 1157] Re: Observation checklist

> Ted and all,

>

>

> I imagine others would like to have access to the ALCPT information as

> well.

>

>

>

> I have also given the OPI, not as a certified interviewer but with a

> lot of training in its use. I use it as part of information

> gathering in reviewing programs overseas, to see what various levels

> of instruction correspond to in proficiency terms. I haven't used it

> with adult ESL population. Like Mary Margaret, I have found that it

> takes about the same amount of time.

>

>

>

> Do others have the same concerns about the BEST Plus?

>

>

>

> Jodi

>

>

>

> On Feb 7, 2008, at 12:58 PM, Ted Klein wrote:

>

> Jodi,

>

>

>

> My wife, Mary Margaret, was a certified OPI interviewer at DLI. She

> says that the average interview was 20 minutes. This depends on the

> interviewee's level. Two people interview. The higher the level, the

> longer the test. It's a really good test. The bad news is that there

> is/was something like a 40% failure rate for certification of

> interviewer among instructors and staff. Some of these people were

> pretty sharp, but doing it is an art and a science. There is no

> question the OPI is the state-of-the-art. Even experienced

> interviewers get frequent tune-ups. I believe that the OPI scoring

> system with the + indicating 60% of the next higher level COULD be

> simplified and adapted to adult education. However, if progress has to

> be shown as often as now, real proficiency doesn't change that fast

> and could cost programs $ when they submit their paperwork. IF it

> were done after maybe 120 class hours, there may be significant

> changes.

>

>

>

> Although I got the training, I bribe other people to do the BEST Plus

> on my students, including Mary Margaret! I think that it's fine for

> placement, but really doesn't work for "progress" for a number of

> reasons. Even when people are trained to use it properly, there is

> enormous difference, even in how the interviewers expresses themselves

> orally and make scores. If we have to continue using the BEST tests,

> another thing that I would like to see is small teams of really good

> and consistent interviewers that do the tests on all of the students.

> A weak measurement system is the Achilles Heel in Adult Education.

>

>

>

> I would prefer the use of the American Language Course Placement Test

> (ALCPT). If you will give me an e-mail address that is convenient, I

> will send you more information on it from my old workshops. It's

> cheaper, quicker, and quite accurate. I totally agree with you that

> teacher wisdom is also a good way to determine where and when the

> student should move on. Unfortunately, many managers don't trust the

> peasants! There are also several good ways to place people that don't

> involve their ability to read the ALCPT.

>

>

>

> I put out an Adult Education/ESL Newsletter once in a while. I

> recently did an article on the OPI, which may answer more of the

> questions. Here it is:

>

>

>

>

>

> Adult Education/ESL News Letter; the Federal Oral Proficiency

> Interview Jan. 8, 2008 Ted Klein

>

>

>

> For many years the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the United

> States conducted interviews of foreign language proficiency to

> measure the understanding and production of languages acquired by

> their staff. This test was also used by some other federal agencies

> and was adapted by some civilian language programs as a measure of

> their graduates. This test expressed performance using scores

> ranging from zero to five. For decades it was the best game in town.

> The problem is that both the interview techniques and scoring

> systems in the FSI exam were not as objective as needed for some

> persons, whose jobs required very specific scores that would be

> important to accomplishment of their missions.

>

>

>

> Language proficiency testing needs have always depended on the

> terminal objectives of the students. In most cases, a well-designed

> comprehension test is adequate and may be used for language class

> placement, graduation criteria, determination of readiness for certain

> jobs, training, or education, etc. During my twenty years with the

> Defense Language Institute English Language Center, all students

> were tested with the English Comprehension Level (ECL) test, which was

> developed as an overall measure of listening and reading skills. This

> test was developed and maintained by individuals whose primary

> expertise was in valid measurement procedures assisted by a team of

> persons who developed multiple choice test items that were based more

> on their language expertise than math. Scores were in a sense

> arbitrary and didn't represent a "percentage" of anything. However the

> use of an ECL test to determine readiness for international military

> personnel from many countries to

> participate in U.S.military training was considered a very reliable

> source of measuring English-language readiness. The test measured

> listening and reading skills and was "loaded" with numerous structural,

> vocabulary and phonological factors. It was multiple choice and could be

> administered in an hour to a large group of students. Students went on

> from DLIELC for training as pilots, staff college attendees, electronics

> specialists, medical personnel, etc. and enjoyed a very low failure rate

> due to language factors. Often, the comprehension scores tended to

> reflect competence in spoken English, because most of these students had

> acquired English in a balanced environment of listening, speaking,

> reading and writing skills. The DLIELC program itself was fairly uniform

> in which all American Language Course materials were systematically

> provided for specific lengths of time to teaching staff trained to use

> specific methodologies. DLIELC students normally start their training in

> their home countries and later go to Lackland Air Force Base in San

> Antonio to finish general English when their ECL scores meet

> predetermined criteria to continue to continue on to study specialized

> terminology.

>

>

>

> In the 1980's a gentleman from the Central Intelligence Agency was

> tasked with the production of a more objective oral language

> measurement system than the FSI exam, with truly meaningful scores and

> criteria. He accomplished that mission and the new Oral Proficiency

> Interview (OPI) examination was designed. That's the good news! The

> bad news is that it is both an art and a science to administer. A copy

> of the criteria and rating factors is below. It can be found at the

> DLIELC website at http://www.dlielc.org/testing/opi_profile.html This

> OPI took care of the majority of the problems with the older FSI exam,

> including a very tight and variable interview system in which persons

> were taken to their highest level of oral communication. Both

> listening and speaking skills receive a score. The chart below

> reflects whole number judgments with a performance-based description

> of what the person being tested can do with the language. The problem

> is that even after two weeks of

> training persons to administer the test, there is a rather high failure

> rate among tester candidates. At one time potential interviewer failures

> rates were as high as 40%. Tests are administered by pairs of persons who

> have to agree on a score. I have seen persons with graduate degrees in

> linguistics fail to become certified interviewers and persons with much

> less technical expertise succeed and become very competent certified

> interviewers. The OPI is now used in numerous programs throughout the

> military, intelligence and diplomatic communities. It is NOT used in

> place of other valid testing instruments. It is reserved as a supplement

> for persons in which a known language production level is required. This

> may include persons who will be air traffic controllers or pilots in

> which verbal communication skills can be critical.

>

>

>

> The ROTC programs at the University of Puerto Rico require OPI scores

> for their cadets who become officers in the U.S. military

> establishment. They also have required ECL scores, and candidates must

> also be verbally competent in spoken English to get their commissions

> and succeed in adequate communication for their jobs in the military.

> The required score to enroll in the ROTC program is an ECL of 75 and

> an OPI score of 2/1+. One year later the required ECL score is 80 with

> a 2/2 OPI. To be commissioned in the U.S. Military the required ECL

> is 90 and the required OPI is 2+/2. The first number (2+) reflects

> listening comprehension and the second number reflects speaking

> ability. When we include the + (plus) designation, this means that the

> candidate performs at the next higher level at least 60% of the time.

> Therefore, if we go from 0 (no competence) to five (educated native

> speaker competence) there are eleven possible levels including the

> pluses. The difficult part

> for most interviewers is reaching the candidates' real levels, measuring

> objectively, and having each interview so different from the last one

> that the possibility of compromise through information sharing is very

> unlikely. An ECL score of 90 is equivalent to a TOEFL score of 550, which

> is adequate for an international student to get into many American

> universities. The American Language Course Proficiency Test (ALCPT) is

> made from expired ECL tests and can be made available to civilian

> institutions.

>

>

>

> Why am I telling you about all of this? I was in management work at

> DLIELC when the OPI system was introduced and never had reason to

> become a certified interviewer. However, what I find exciting is that

> the OPI Rating Factor Grid below describes the natural sequence in

> which our ESL students acquire English. It is a recapitulation of the

> entire never-ending process of getting a new language. I'm guessing

> that average competent foreign language majors in a good university

> would graduate with a 3/3 OPI score in their target languages. The

> numbers in the OPI can only hint at how long and complicated a process

> we have to go through to really be truly functional in a second

> language. For travelling or living in another country for a while,

> 2/1+ is a very reasonable goal. The chart should give ESL instructors

> strong insight into both teaching objectives and what their students

> are going through.

>

>

>

> There is a short general article on my website about language testing

> at

>

> http://www.tedklein-esl.com/ESL/lang_tests.html

>

>

>

>

>

> Ted

>

>

> Theodore A. (Ted) Klein, Jr.

> Independent Consultant in Language

> and Intercultural Training

> 14456 Agarita Road

> Austin, Texas 78734-2009

> Phone:512-266-1801

> taklein at austin.rr.com

> www.tedklein-ESL.com

>

>

>

>

>

>

> OPI RATING FACTOR GRID

>

>

> Interactive Comprehension

> Structural Control Texts Produced Lexical Control

> Delivery

> Sociolinguistic Competence

> Global Tasks and Functions

> 0+

> The individual understands a number of short, memorized

> utterances in areas of immediate needs; frequent, long pauses

> and repeated requests for repetition.

>

> No control. Can only use memorized structures.

>

> Individual words and phrases.

>

> Memorized words and phrases related to immediate survival

> needs.

>

> Even in memorized speech, stress, intonation, tone usually

> quite faulty.

>

> Severely limited. Any knowledge of cultural appropriateness

> has a nonlinguistic source

>

> Can make statements and ask questions using memorized material.

>

> 1

> A native speaker must often use slowed speech, repetition,

> paraphrase, or a combination of these to be understood by this

> individual. Misunderstandings are frequent, but the individual

> is able to ask for help and to verify comprehension of native

> speech in face-to-face interaction.

>

> Structural accuracy is random or severely limited. Almost

> every utterance has errors in basic structures. Time concepts

> are vague. Can formulate some questions.

>

> Discrete sentences.

>

> Very limited. Covers courtesy expressions, introductions,

> identification, personal and accommodation needs, daily

> routine.

>

> Often speaks with great difficulty. Pronunciation, stress,

> intonation generally poor.

>

> Uses greetings and courtesy expressions. Can interact with

> native speakers used to dealing with non-natives.

>

> Can create sentences; begin, maintain, and close short

> conversations by asking and answering simple questions; satisfy

> simple daily needs.

>

> 2

> The individual can get the gist of most everyday conversations,

> but has some difficulty understanding native speakers in

> situations that require a specialized or sophisticated knowledge.

> (May require a native speaker to adjust to his/her limitations

> in some way).

>

> Discourse is minimally cohesive. Grammatical structures are

> usually not very elaborate and not thoroughly controlled;

> errors are frequent. Simple structure and basic grammatical

> relations are typically controlled.

>

> Full paragraphs.

>

> Sufficient to discuss high frequency concrete topics such as

> work, family, personal background and interests, travel,

> current events. Imprecise for less common topics.

>

> Speaks with confidence but not facility. Can usually be

> understood by those not used to dealing with non-natives.

>

> Satisfies routine social demands and limited work requirements.

> Can interact with native speakers not used to dealing with

> non-natives; native speakers may have to adjust to limitations.

>

> Can describe people, places, and things; narrate current, past,

> and future activities in full paragraphs; state facts; give

> instructions or directions; ask and answer questions in the

> work place; deal with non-routine daily situations.

>

> 3

> In face-to-face conversation with natives speaking the standard

> dialect at a normal rate of speech, comprehension is quite

> complete. Although cultural references, proverbs, and the

> implications of nuances and idiom may not be fully understood,

> the individual can easily repair the conversation.

>

> Effectively combines structure and vocabulary to convey

> meaning. Discourse is cohesive. Use of structural devices is

> flexible and elaborate. Errors occur in low frequency and

> highly complex structures; but structural inaccuracy rarely

> causes misunderstanding.

>

> Extended discourse.

>

> Broad enough for effective formal and informal conversations on

> practical, social, and professional topics. Can convey

> abstract concepts.

>

> Speaks readily and fills pauses suitably. Pronunciation may be

> obviously foreign. Flaws in stress, intonation, pitch rarely

> disturb the native speaker.

>

> Uses cultural references. When errors are made, can easily

> repair the conversation.

>

> Can converse extensively in formal and informal situations;

> discuss abstract topics; support opinions; hypothesize; deal

> with unfamiliar topics and situations; clarify points.

>

> 4

> Can understand native speakers of the standard and other major

> dialects in essentially any face-to-face interaction. Can

> understand the details and ramifications of concepts that are

> culturally or conceptually different from his/her own.

> Understands shifts of both subject matter and tone.

>

> Organizes discourse well, using appropriate rhetorical devices

> and high level discourse structures.

>

> Speeches, lectures, debates,

>

> conference discussions.

>

> Precise for representational purposes within personal and

> professional experience. Can elaborate concepts freely; choose

> appropriate words to convey nuances of meaning.

>

> Speaks effortlessly and smoothly, but would seldom be perceived

> as a native speaker.

>

> Uses and understands details and ramifications of target

> cultural references. Can set and shift the tone of exchanges

> with a variety of native speakers.

>

> Can tailor language to fit the audience; counsel; persuade;

> represent an official point of view; negotiate; advocate a

> position at length; interpret informally.

>

> 5

> (No gaps in comprehension, including all details and nuances.)

>

> Functionally equivalent to a highly articulate, well-educated

> native speaker.

>

> All texts controlled by a highly articulate, well-educated native

> speaker.

>

> Breadth of vocabulary and idiom equivalent to that of a highly

> articulate, well-educated native speaker.

>

> Functionally equivalent to a highly articulate, well-educated

> native speaker of a standard dialect.

>

> Speech reflects the cultural standards of country where

> language is natively spoken.

>

> Functionally equivalent to a highly articulate, well-educated

> native speaker.

>

> DLIELC FORM 1025.9(A), MAR 03 (Reverse)

>

> OPI PERFORMANCE PROFILE RATERS

>

> DATE

>

> Check One:

>

> C

>

> S

>

>

> ENTRY

>

> Mid

>

> Exit

>

> SCN/TEL OPI CODE

>

> RANK/NAME

>

> CY

>

> GRAD DATE

>

> SET CODE

>

> TEACHER/ROOM NO.

>

> VERIFICATION

>

> Interactive Comprehension Structural Control / Texts Produced

> Lexical Control

>

>

>

> Delivery

> Sociolinguistic Competence

> Global Tasks and Functions

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

> DLIELC FORM 1025.9(A), MAR 03

>

>

>

>

>

>

> ----- Original Message -----

>

>

> From: "JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall" <crandall at umbc.edu>

>

> To: "The Assessment Discussion List" <assessment at nifl.gov>

>

> Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 7:45 AM

>

> Subject: [Assessment 1149] Re: Observation checklist

>

>

>

>

> Ted,

>

> Did you use an oral proficiency interview at the Defense Language

> Institute? If so, how log did it take to administer to each student? I

> think time is a real barrier to most adult ESL/ESOL programs. Thus, they

> use tests that can be administered to students as a group and easily

> evaluated.

>

> For some college programs for international students, a whole range of

> tests are used for placement, including a writing sample, a reading test,

> and an oral interview. Clearly that's more possible with smaller numbers

> of students who are also paying for the classes.

>

> What do you think is needed in the way of tests? In Passing the Torch,

> Forrest and I point to assessment as a major issue facing all the

> colleges

> we studied. We recommend the development of a test of all four skills

> that, if possible, could be administered and scored in a reasonable

> amount

> of time.

>

> Have you tried the BEST Plus test? What has been your experience with

> that test?

>

> I agree that for placement at literacy levels, a simple test developed by

> a program might be sufficient.

>

> I also think that for progress through the levels, student achievement in

> the previous class, as judged by the instructor ("professional wisdom"),

> is still the best determiner of whether a student is ready to go to the

> next level.

>

> Jodi

>

>

> > Jodi,

> >

> > Same here! As long as the BEST Test is used to show gains, I'm afraid

> that

> > there isn't much chance that REAL gains could be charted and compared.

> It

> > is used too often to measure progress and is not as good for that

> purpose

> > as one would hope. Really valid proficiency tests are the only way to

> > prove the point. Achievement tests don't tell much in terms of overall

> > progress. I would also guess that it would take a minimum of 120 hours

> of

> > solid training to have a measureable level with any test that one could

> > play numbers with. Other factors including attendance, etc. would have

> to

> > be factored in. Adults have families and jobs in the way of total

> > dedication to attendance. Also, one would have to have a test in which

> > human judgment would play a small role. The BEST is fine for its

> original

> > purpose, which was to place persons with others at their same levels of

> > communication. Good measurement is the only way to prove anything. I

> often

> > rely on plain old gut instincts to figure how things are really going.

> I

> > know that's not very scientific.

> >

> > Cheers, Ted

> > www.tedklein-ESL.com

> >

> >

> > ----- Original Message -----

> > From: "JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall" <crandall at umbc.edu>

> > To: "The Assessment Discussion List" <assessment at nifl.gov>

> > Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 2:05 PM

> > Subject: [Assessment 1138] Re: Observation checklist

> >

> >

> > Hi, Ted. Glad to make contact again.

> >

> > I definitely agree that smaller classes are more likely to bring

> learner

> > gains, especially in language, since students will have more

> opportunity

> > to speak when there are fewer students. I didn't know about the DLI

> > policy, but it is a good one. The problem with adult ESL classes, I

> fear,

> > is that there is such limited money available that programs would find

> it

> > difficult to keep class size to these numbers.

> >

> > Has anyone tried to reduce class size and chart the learning gains? If

> > so, please share with us all. It might be that this would be a good

> > investment. If students in smaller classes make faster gains, then

> there

> > would be more spaces available as these students transitioned to other

> > classes or the workforce.

> >

> > Jodi

> >

> > Hi Jodi,

> >>

> >> Greetings from Lake Travis in Texas. We met a couple of times in the

> >> past,

> >> I think at least once when you visited the Defense Language Institute

> >> English Language Center in San Antonio and at TESOL. The reason I

> >> mention

> >> DLI is that it represents a language program with little leeway to

> fail.

> >> I

> >> spent 20 years from 1968-1988 with them. Their mission was/is to train

> >> allied and friendly military personnel worldwide in general and

> >> specialized English. Most students start ESL in their home countries

> >> with

> >> DLIELC personnel advising, and in some cases teaching, in these

> overseas

> >> military language centers. It may still be the largest language

> program

> >> in

> >> the world. Students after reaching certain levels go to Lackland Air

> >> Force

> >> Base in San Antonio, complete their general English, usually go

> through

> >> specialized terminology and then on to whatever training their country

> >> needs with the U.S. military. Students have run the full gamut from

> >> recruits and NCO's up to generals and admirals. This is a very tightly

> >> organized "well-packaged" language program with predictable training

> >> times

> >> and results.

> >>

> >> Here's why I bring you this background. The rule of thumb while I was

> at

> >> at DLI on class sizes was 8 students optimum and 10 maximum. This was

> >> rarely broken. However, once in a while a higher headquarters' bean

> >> counter would calculate that if a mere two or three students could be

> >> added to a class, voila, look at the money we would save! This money

> >> came

> >> both from foreign governments and Uncle Sam. DLI would argue and then

> >> try

> >> it, I believe several times over the years. However, in an

> organization

> >> that has a very effective testing system; both achievement and

> >> proficiency, it was soon noticed that the scores were going down, just

> >> enough so that they could prove that no money was being saved on

> teacher

> >> salaries and other expenses. I spent three years with the Royal Thai

> >> Navy

> >> for DLI as language training advisor and remember having to twist arms

> >> with the RTN Navy Education Department with the same problem. They

> >> wanted

> >> 15 in a class.

> >>

> >> Here's what I suggest. I accept these numbers and know during my last

> >> eight years of teaching adult immigrants that my best classes have

> >> consistently been smaller. My students average around 9-11. If an

> >> organization is stuck with a low budget, make the hours of training

> per

> >> week lower, but keep the class sizes within 10 or so students. Fewer

> >> hours

> >> of really effective training are certainly better than large classes

> >> where

> >> the student attention level and collegiality are reduced. I remember

> >> Mary

> >> Finocchiaro saying years ago that she didn't care how many students

> were

> >> in her classroom, she would teach them! Unfortunately, most of us just

> >> aren't THAT dynamic.

> >>

> >> Cheers, Ted

> >> www.tedklein-ESL.com

> >>

> >>

> >>

> >> ----- Original Message -----

> >> From: "JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall" <crandall at umbc.edu>

> >> To: "The Assessment Discussion List" <assessment at nifl.gov>

> >> Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 9:23 PM

> >> Subject: [Assessment 1125] Re: Observation checklist

> >>

> >>

> >> Usha,

> >>

> >> I'm not sure where Ted came up with that number. Ted, is it your

> >> experience that with more than 10 students, learning decreases? If

> so,

> >> how do you fund that number? I think a lot of people would be

> >> interested

> >> in ways to decrease class size.

> >>

> >> It's more typical to have larger classes because of the funding

> >> constraints you talk about. With more students, it becomes more

> >> important

> >> to involve them in activities in which all get to participate, which

> >> means

> >> less teacher talk and more student interaction. But even small

> classes

> >> need that.

> >>

> >> What do others feel about the "ideal class size"?

> >>

> >> You have also identified some of the major reasons adults drop out of

> >> classes (or opt out, only to return at a later date). Do any of you

> >> keep

> >> records of your students that would identify those who do return? Do

> >> you

> >> have any idea of whether they have tried to continue learning English

> >> outside of the classroom and how they did this? I don't know of any

> >> research about adult English Language Learners in this area, but there

> >> is

> >> an ongoing study by Stephen Reder and others at Portland State

> >> University

> >> following adult literacy level students for several years. They have

> >> identified some ways in which adults continue learning outside of the

> >> classroom and also that some of these learners come back to classes

> >> after

> >> being out of them for some time.

> >>

> >> Providing support services is always a challenge. Have any of you

> been

> >> able to partner with other organizations to reduce the cost of these

> >> services to your program? What kinds of partnerships have been most

> >> effective? If you teach in a community college, have your students had

> >> access to the various support services provided to other students?

> >>

> >> Several of you have talked about the differences in progress made by

> >> students with more advanced education and those who are at literacy

> >> level.

> >> Because literacy level students take longer in making progress, most

> >> programs provide separate classes for literacy level students and

> >> literate

> >> beginners. Those learners with limited formal schooling and literacy

> >> will

> >> need more time to make progress. I'm going to ask Forrest to talk

> about

> >> what he and Steve Spurling and Sharon Seymour found out about

> >> persistence

> >> of literacy level students and their learning gains.

> >>

> >> Students with advanced education in their own language may be able to

> >> have

> >> a condensed program since they are already experienced as students and

> >> often have high motivation to get through English so that they can

> take

> >> courses related to their previous or future career. City College of

> San

> >> Francisco offers an "accelerated course" in which 2 semesters worth of

> >> work is taught during one. Do any of your programs offer something

> along

> >> these lines?

> >>

> >> Jodi

> >>

> >>

> >>> I have not been a part of this discussion and I really liked the tool

> >>> that

> >>> Ted has shared with us. However, I have question and I hope that it

> >>> is

> >>> not

> >>> something that has already been asked and answered.

> >>>

> >>> The first item on Ted¹s list is a little confusing. In most of our

> ESL

> >>> classes we enroll more than 10 students because of fiscal constraints

> >>> and

> >>> the need for ESL in the community. So is it a negative or a positive

> >>> to

> >>> have fewer than 10 students in a class? In our case, we expect to

> see

> >>> more

> >>> than 10 students in a class and for the teacher to sustain the

> numbers.

> >>>

> >>> As for the achievement gap, it is huge issue in all literacy programs

> >>> because of many socio-economic factors.

> >>>

> >>> In our area, part of the Bay Area, the boom in the housing market (in

> >>> past

> >>> several years) and high rents made it difficult for people to stay in

> >>> one

> >>> neighborhood. Therefore they constantly move (this is seen more in

> >>> people

> >>> who do not have high levels of education from their native country).

> >>>

> >>> People with a certain level of education (college degrees from their

> >>> countries are more likely to find stable jobs and have some kind of

> >>> community support). Most other people hold two or more jobs, go in

> and

> >>> out

> >>> of classes, change schedules, and finally drop out because of various

> >>> constraints. More than likely, they lack study skills and have no

> time

> >>> to

> >>> practice.

> >>>

> >>> The achievement gap stems not only from the differences in

> educational

> >>> levels of immigrants, but also due the huge difference in the

> >>> availability

> >>> of community resources.

> >>>

> >>> Usha Narayanan

> >>> Sunnyvale-Cupertino Adult Education

> >>> California

> >>> 408-522-2737

> >>>

> >>>

> >>> On 2/5/08 1:00 PM, "Ted Klein" <taklein at austin.rr.com> wrote:

> >>>

> >>>> Marie,

> >>>>

> >>>> I did this list years ago based on literally decades in and out of

> the

> >>>> U.S.A.

> >>>> teaching, training teachers, supervising, coordinating, etc. in ESL.

> >>>> It

> >>>> is

> >>>> based on what seems to work or not work. I'm proud to say that I'm

> >>>> back

> >>>> in the

> >>>> ESL trenches after, among other things, twenty years with the

> Defense

> >>>> Language

> >>>> Institute English Language Center. I've been teaching immigrants

> part

> >>>> time for

> >>>> the last eight years for the Adult Education Department at Austin

> >>>> Community

> >>>> College. Getting back in the trenches has reminded me of what

> language

> >>>> teaching is all about. I feel sorry for anybody who has to work at a

> >>>> higher

> >>>> level, because that's really not as much fun! I truly hope that I

> >>>> apply

> >>>> everything on my list daily and don't fall into any of the "easy

> >>>> traps."

> >>>> I

> >>>> have distributed this list over the years to anybody who seemed

> >>>> interested and

> >>>> it is published on my website at

> >>>> http://www.tedklein-esl.com/ESL/20questions.html Feel absolutely

> free

> >>>> to use

> >>>> it in any way that will make life easier for students. Thank you

> very

> >>>> much for

> >>>> the input. Questions are welcome.

> >>>>

> >>>> Cheers, Ted

> >>>>

> >>>> Theodore A. (Ted) Klein, Jr.

> >>>> Independent Consultant in Language

> >>>> and Intercultural Training

> >>>> 14456 Agarita Road

> >>>> Austin, Texas 78734-2009

> >>>> Phone:512-266-1801

> >>>> taklein at austin.rr.com <mailto:taklein at austin.rr.com>

> >>>> www.tedklein-ESL.com <http://www.tedklein-ESL.com>

> >>>>

> >>>>

> >>>> ----- Original Message -----

> >>>>>

> >>>>> From: Marie Cora <mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> To: Assessment at nifl.gov

> >>>>>

> >>>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 1:42 PM

> >>>>>

> >>>>> Subject: [Assessment 1110] Re: Observation checklist

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> Hi Ted,

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> Thanks for this. This is a great list - did you generate it

> >>>>> yourself?

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> I guess I have a bunch of questions for you about it:

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> How do you use it? As a general guide, or do you deliberately try

> >>>>> to

> >>>>> address each item? Are you the only one who uses this, or do

> others

> >>>>> you

> >>>>> work with?

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> Do you find that if you adhere to these principles, that the

> >>>>> students

> >>>>> advance?

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> Marie

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> -----Original Message-----

> >>>>>> From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov

> >>>>>> [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On

> >>>>>> Behalf Of Ted Klein

> >>>>>> Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 9:49 PM

> >>>>>> To: The Assessment Discussion List

> >>>>>> Subject: [Assessment 1105] Re: No Questions or Comments?!

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> Marie,

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> In the long run, this may be all that I know.

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> Ted

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> www.tedklein-ESL.com <http://www.tedklein-ESL.com>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 20 Questions: LANGUAGE CLASS OBSERVATION CHECKLIST YES

> >>>>>> NO

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 1. Were there 10 or fewer students in the class?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 2. Was the classroom comfortable in terms of

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> environment and learning atmosphere?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 3. Did the instructor have a pleasant and

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> supportive personality?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 4. Were the lessons communication centered,

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> rather than informational, most of the time?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 5. Was the instructor a native-speaker or

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> near native-speaker of the target language?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 6. Was the target language used as a medium

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> of instruction all or most of the time?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 7. Did the students do most of the communication,

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> rather than the instructor?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 8. Did the instructor maintain control of the class

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> in a non-threatening manner?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 9. Did members of the class seem compatible with each

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> other and the instructor?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 10. Did the students seem closely matched in their

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> target language proficiency?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 11. Did all of the students participate?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 12. Were students enthusiastic?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 13. Did the instructor use a variety of techniques

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> to elicit communication activities?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 14. Did the instructor assist students, rather

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> than push them?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 15. Did the instructor use normal, rather than

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> exaggerated speech?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 16. Were training aids used to enhance or reinforce

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> results?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 17. Were new learning objectives reinforced adequately?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 18. Was correction applied moderately and positively

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> so that it wouldn't inhibit communication?

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 19. Was there a balance of language skills (listening,

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> speaking, reading and writing?)

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> 20. Were students dealt with appropriately for their

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> ages? (e.g. adults treated like adults).

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>> ---- Original Message -----

> >>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> From: Marie Cora <mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> To: Assessment at nifl.gov

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 5:50 PM

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Subject: [Assessment 1103] No Questions or Comments?!

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Hello everyone,

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> I¹m so surprised! No one has anything to comment on regarding

> >>>>>>> your

> >>>>>>> program¹s effectiveness at helping ESL students advance?? I was

> >>>>>>> very

> >>>>>>> curious to know if subscribers experience the same types of

> issues

> >>>>>>> that

> >>>>>>> Dr. Chisman and Dr. Crandall found in their research: a lack of

> >>>>>>> intensity

> >>>>>>> of instruction/few protocols for transitioning students/few

> >>>>>>> opportunities

> >>>>>>> for professional development.

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> What are the issues in your program that you feel inhibit the

> ESL

> >>>>>>> student

> >>>>>>> from advancing? What do you try to do about that?

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Please post your questions and comments now.

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Thanks!

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Marie Cora

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Assessment Discussion List Moderator

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> Marie Cora

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com

> >>>>>>> <mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> NIFL Assessment Discussion List Moderator

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>>

> >>>>>>> -------------------------------

> >>>>>>> National Institute for Literacy

> >>>>>>> Assessment mailing list

> >>>>>>> Assessment at nifl.gov

> >>>>>>> To unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, please go

> to

> >>>>>>> http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment

> >>>>>>> Email delivered to taklein at austin.rr.com

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>>

> >>>>> -------------------------------

> >>>>> National Institute for Literacy

> >>>>> Assessment mailing list

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> >>>>> To unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, please go to

> >>>>> http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment

> >>>>> Email delivered to taklein at austin.rr.com

> >>>>

> >>>>

> >>>> -------------------------------

> >>>> National Institute for Literacy

> >>>> Assessment mailing list

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> >>>> Email delivered to usha_narayanan at fuhsd.org

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> >>

> >>

> >> --

> >> JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

> >> Professor, Education Department

> >> Director, Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy & Culture

> >> Coordinator, Peace Corps Master's International Program in

> >> ESOL/Bilingual

> >> Education

> >> University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

> >> 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250

> >> ph: 410-455-2313/2376 fax: 410-455-8947/1880

> >> email: crandall at umbc.edu

> >> www.umbc.edu/llc/

> >> www.umbc.edu/esol/

> >> www.umbc.edu/esol/peacecorps.html

> >>

> >>

> >>

> >> -------------------------------

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> >

> > --

> > JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

> > Professor, Education Department

> > Director, Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy & Culture

> > Coordinator, Peace Corps Master's International Program in

> ESOL/Bilingual

> > Education

> > University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

> > 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250

> > ph: 410-455-2313/2376 fax: 410-455-8947/1880

> > email: crandall at umbc.edu

> > www.umbc.edu/llc/

> > www.umbc.edu/esol/

> > www.umbc.edu/esol/peacecorps.html

> >

> >

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>

> --

> JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

> Professor, Education Department

> Director, Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy & Culture

> Coordinator, Peace Corps Master's International Program in ESOL/Bilingual

> Education

> University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

> 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250

> ph: 410-455-2313/2376 fax: 410-455-8947/1880

> email: crandall at umbc.edu

> www.umbc.edu/llc/

> www.umbc.edu/esol/

> www.umbc.edu/esol/peacecorps.html

>

>

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>

>

> JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

>

> Professor and Director

>

> Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program

>

> Director, Peace Corps Master's Intl Program in ESOL/Bilingual

> Education

>

> University of Maryland Baltimore County

>

> 1000 Hilltop Circle

>

> Baltimore, MD 21250

>

> tel: 410-455-2313

>

> fax: 410-455-8947

>

> eml: crandall at umbc.edu

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>

> JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

> Professor and Director

> Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program

> Director, Peace Corps Master's Intl Program in ESOL/Bilingual Education

> University of Maryland Baltimore County

> 1000 Hilltop Circle

> Baltimore, MD 21250

> tel: 410-455-2313

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> JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

> Professor and Director

> Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program

> Director, Peace Corps Master's Intl Program in ESOL/Bilingual Education

> University of Maryland Baltimore County

> 1000 Hilltop Circle

> Baltimore, MD 21250

> tel: 410-455-2313

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--
JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Professor, Education Department
Director, Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy & Culture
Coordinator, Peace Corps Master's International Program in ESOL/Bilingual
Education
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250
ph: 410-455-2313/2376 fax: 410-455-8947/1880
email: crandall at umbc.edu
www.umbc.edu/llc/
www.umbc.edu/esol/
www.umbc.edu/esol/peacecorps.html