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English Language Learner KnowledgeBase for Administrators & Teachers

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The English Language Learner (ELL) KnowledgeBase for Administrators and Teachers is an online resource supporting both the administration, teaching and execution of programs for English learning students. It offers resources related to Office for Civil Rights (OCR) requirements and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Task 4: Gather Academic Data for ELL and Former ELL Students

Guideline: A school should maintain data regarding the implementation of the English language learner program along with the academic progress of the students participating in the program. This data should include whether former ELL students are

  • keeping up with their non-ELL peers in the regular educational environment,
  • able to participate successfully in essentially all aspects of the school's curriculum without the use of simplified English materials, and
  • being retained in grade or are dropping out at rates similar to those of their non-ELL peers.

Data should be maintained on individual ELL students that will support the effectiveness of the program.




ELL Starter Kit for Educators

As noted at the Colori­n Colorado website, this resource offers educators "tools for monitoring language skills. This starter kit was developed with Spanish-speaking ELLs in mind (because they account for more than 80 percent of all ELL students in the United States), but the monitoring forms also will be helpful for students from other cultural and linguistic backgrounds."

English Learner Toolkit

This resource was developed by the U.S. Department of Education to support schools working with English language learners (ELLs).

Language Assessment Recording Form

This resource is a sample form for recording a student's oral, reading, and writing test scores. This form should be made a part of the student's permanent record file.

Alternate format: PDF

Student Oral Language Observation Matrix (SOLOM)

The Student Oral Language Observation Matrix (SOLOM) is a rating scale that teachers can use to assess their students' command of oral language on the basis of what they observe on a continuing basis in a variety of situations.

Alternate format: PDF


English Language Learner Tool Kit

This 2016 Department of Education tool kit describes the tracking the progress of English Language Learners (ELLs).

This is the eighth chapter of the English Learner Tool Kit, which is intended to help state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) in meeting their obligations to English Language Learners (ELLs). This tool kit should be read in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights’ and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Dear Colleague Letter on "English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents," published in January 2015, which outlines SEAs’ and LEAs’ legal obligations to ELLs under civil rights laws and other federal requirements.

Standards and Assessments

This document offers the U.S. Department of Education's draft guidance on the assessment requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act addressing ELL students. The sections provided pertain to ELL and migrant students as well as flexibility and accountability for ELL students.

Standards for Test Administration

This ETS 2014 resource contains excerpts from the Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education which lists obligations for informing test takers and/or their parents and guardians about the assessment to be given and the use of the data gathered from the assessment process.

Source: Excerpts from the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testingprepared by the Committee to Develop Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing of the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education, 1985. The purpose of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing is provide criteria for the evaluation of tests, testing practices, and the effects of test use. Part VI contain standards regarding test administration, scoring, and reporting, as well as standards for the protection of test takers' rights. This excerpt is taken from Chapter 15, Test Administration, Scoring, and Reporting.

In typical applications, test administrators should follow carefully the standardized procedures for administration and scoring specified by the test publisher. Specifications regarding instructions to test takers, time limits, the form of item presentation or response, and test materials or equipment should be strictly observed. Exemptions should be made only on the basis of carefully considered professional judgment, primarily in clinical applications.

The testing environment should be one of reasonable comfort and with minimal distractions. Testing material should be readable and understandable. In computerized testing, items displayed on a screen should be legible and free from glare, and the terminal should be properly positioned.

Testing sessions should be monitored where appropriate both to assist the test taker when a need arises and to maintain proper administrative procedures. Among the conditions that should be avoided in testing situations are:

  • Noise
  • Disruption in the testing area
  • Extremes of temperature
  • Inadequate work space
  • Illegible material, and so forth.

In the context of computer-administered tests, the novelty of the presentation may have an unknown effort on the test administration.

Standards for Testing Bilingual Persons

Originally produced by the Evaluation Assistance Center-West, the Standards for Testing Bilingual Persons is a useful resource to share with the school staff members responsible for testing ELL students. Refer to the ERIC/CUE Digest No. 65.


Practical Tips

Leveling the Playing Field for English Language Learners: Increasing Participation in State and Local Assessments through Accommodations

This resource from the former Region III Comprehensive Center provides practical guidance for using test preparation strategies with English language learner students as a form of accommodation for standardized tests.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.