English Language Learners Referral and Assessment: Gwinnett

English Language Learners Referral
and Assessment: Gwinnett County
Public Schools Procedure
(school-aged students)
Sandra Wagner
Bilingual Speech-Language
• Understanding the importance of gathering
pre-referral data
• Acquiring fundamentals of appropriate ELL
• Completing thorough assessment and writing
comprehensive report
• Understanding the repercussions of
inappropriate referrals and how to address
ELL student needs in the classroom
DIALECT is a variation of a symbol system used by
a group of individuals that reflects and is determined
by shared regional, social, or cultural/ethnic factors.
A regional, social, or cultural/ethnic variation of a
symbol system should not be considered a disorder
of speech or language.
ASHA Conference 2003
ASHA Documents
Language Learning Disability
• A language-learning disability is defined as a
student’s underlying inability to learn and
process any language adequately.
• A language –learning disability exists when a
student tries to learn two language codes
with an underlying language system that is
inadequate even for one
Roseberry-McKibbin 2000
BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)
• Language proficiency in everyday contexts
• Basic vocabulary: simple nouns, verbs,
adjectives, adverbs, prepositions
• Conversational pragmatics: simple speech
acts, conversational turn-taking, requesting
• 1-3 years to acquire
• In most language samples (Cummins, 1984)
CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency)
• Manipulation of language in decontextualized
academic situations
• Academic language; advanced semantics:
abstract concepts, conjunctions
• Academic pragmatics: classroom interaction,
routines, speeches, decontextualized settings
(i.e., phone conversation)
• 5-7 years to acquire… 5-10 (Thomas & Collier, 2002)
• Many formal tests
(Cummins 1984)
Did you know?
The average native English speaker gains about
ten months of academic growth in one tenmonth academic year. ELL students must
outgain the native speaker by making 1.5
year’s progress in English for six successive
school years. Thus, in order to have skills that
are commensurate with those of native
English speakers, ELLs must make nine years
progress in six years.
Thomas & Collier, 1998
More lingo…
• Interference or transfer: communicative
behavior from L1 transfers onto L2 (“He no do
his work”; “I am more big”)
• Silent period: lack or little output + learning rules
of new language; focus on listening and
comprehension (younger=longer); how long?
• Acculturation: psychological integration with
speakers of L2; EL acquires L2 to the degree that
they are acculturate (integrate with L2 speakers)
…a few more…
• Code Switching: alternating between 2
languages within single sentences or
discourse (“Mi maestra say good job”)
• Language Loss: if use of L1 decreases, it’s
common for EL to lose skills in that language
while acquiring L2 proficiency
• Additive Bilingualism: L1+L2 reinforced=high
proficiency in both. L1 nurtured. Goal: fluent
and balanced bilingual
…last ones, promise!
• ACCESS test (Assessing Comprehension and
Communication in English State to State):
secure large-scale English language proficiency
assessment given to Kindergarten through
12th graders who have been identified as ELs
• CAN DO chart: Descriptors commonly used by
ESL teachers in coaching general education
teachers about differentiated instruction for
IDEA (2006)
Section §300.34 Evaluation Procedures
Each public agency must ensure that assessments
and other evaluation materials used to assess a
child are provided and administered in the child’s
native language or other mode of
communication and in the form most likely to
yield accurate information on what the child
knows and can do academically,
developmentally, and functionally, unless it is
clearly not feasible to provide or administer.
(Bilingual Inventory of Classroom Communication Skills)
CAN DO chart (http://www.wida.us)
ACCESS summary sheet
(Parent Inventory of Specific Language Skills)
Parent Questionnaire
Parent Questionnaire
Parent Questionnaire
Parent Questionnaire
Resources- sound chart
Resources- phonology
Resources- syntax/morphology
What have we learned today?
White Flags
• Dialectal differences in
sound production
• Morphology errors
• Language loss
• Silent period
• Code-switching
• Disfluency in only one
Red Flags
• Parent concerns
• Bilingual teacher
• Family history of
• Siblings performing
• Inadequate pragmatic
skills (e.g., reported by
Finally, don’t forget…
• Limited experiences (in
using a language) CAN
BE solely responsible
for communication
differences/ difficulties
• No absolutes, no
simple cases, no
• The more evidence the
• Identifying
disorders is most
difficult when
background includes
another language
• Team approach to
investigate or
You can contact me at:
[email protected]
[email protected]