Advertisement

Assessing SLLs with SpLDs: Challenges and Opportunities for Equity in Education

Chapter
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)

Abstract

‘Literacy’, defined as the ability to read and write (Oxford Dictionaries. ‘Literacy’. Retrieved 3/12/2016 from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/literacy), is closely connected to educational contexts and fundamental for the acquisition of knowledge. Literacy is not only the key to a successful school career, but it also has an impact on the individual’s future in a literate society (Kucer, 2001). Literacy is equally important for second/foreign language learners (SLL) too. However, specific learning differences (SpLD) among children have been identified as frequent causes for the impediment of literacy development in FLL which creates many challenges for educators when teaching and, particularly, when assessing SpLD students. The paper summarizes current discussions and research findings in the field of language assessment for SLLs with SpLDs, and identifies key stakeholders who are closely connected to successful assessment. The paper also identifies issues in external and classroom-based assessment that are in need of attention. Finally, a prospect of future research areas is provided for the improvement of assessment of SLLs with SpLDs.

Keywords

Special learning differences English language High-stakes tests Classroom-based assessment Stakeholders 

References

  1. Abedi, J. (2010). Utilizing accommodations in assessment. In E. Shohamy & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Language testing and assessment (2nd ed., pp. 331–347). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Abedi, J., Hofstetter, C., & Carol, L. (2004). Assessment accommodations for English language learners: Implications for policy-based empirical research. Review of Education Research, 74, 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. AERA/APA/NCME. (1999). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  4. Afantiti Lamprianou, T., Karagiorgi, Y., Alexandrou, V., Karamanou, M., & Symeou, L. (2015). ‘Out of the box’ empowering school leaders through action research: Two case studies. Cyprus: EmpAR. Centre for Educational Research and Evaluation.Google Scholar
  5. Arras, U., Mueller-Karabil, A., & Zimmermann, S. (2013). On equal footing? Accommodations for disabled candidates in the TestDAF. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 271–286). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Banerjee, J., Nordby Chen, N., & Dobson, B. (2013). Special needs test forms: Levelling the playing field for test takers with disabilities. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 253–267). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Brannen, K., & Kozlowska, M. (2013). L2 Teaching and assessment of university students with disabilities. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 207–225). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  8. Burns, A. (2009). Action research. In J. Heigham & R. A. Croker (Eds.), Qualitative research in applied linguistics. A practical introduction (pp. 112–134). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  9. D’Este, C., & Ludbrook, G. (2013). Fairness and validity in testing students with SpLDs: A case study from Italy. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 169–188). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Erbeli, F., & Pižorn, K. (2013). Assessment accommodations in FL reading competence for Slovene FL students with specific reading differences. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 189–206). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  11. Fleurquin, F. (2008). The challenges of testing candidates with disabilities: Issues to consider. Paper presented at the 5th EALTA (European Association for Language Testing and Assessment) Conference, Hellenic American Union, Athens, Greece, May 8–11, 2008.Google Scholar
  12. Fulcher, G., & Davidson, F. (2007). Language testing and assessment: An advanced resource book. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Georgakis, I., & Hatzidakis, G. (2016). Selection process students with disabilities and special educational needs to the TEI—problems and concerns. Paper presented at the Conference entitled ‘Teaching and assessing students with disabilities and other educational needs in Secondary Education’, Primary and Secondary Education Offices, Greek Ministry of Education, Heraklion, Crete, Greece (March 18–19, 2016).Google Scholar
  14. Glenny, G., & Roaf, C. (2008). Multiprofessional communication: Making systems work for children. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Gustavsson, S. (2013). Assessing and grading pupils with dyslexia in English language teaching: A case study of English Language Teachers’ insights on the matter. Kalmar, Växjö: Linnaeus University, School of Language and Literature.Google Scholar
  16. Haug, T. (2012). Methodological and theoretical issues in the adaptation of sign language tests: An example from the adaptation of a test to German Sign Language. Language Testing, 29(2), 181–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Khalifa, H., & Weir, C. J. (2009). Examining reading: Research and practice in assessing language reading. Cambridge: UCLES/Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Kormos, J. (2013). Editorial. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. xv–xviii). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Kormos, J., & Kontra, E. H. (2008). Language learners with special needs: An international perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  20. Kormos, J., & Smith, A. M. (2012). Teaching languages to students with specific learning differences. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  21. Kucer, S. B. (2001). Dimensions of literacy. A conceptual base for teaching reading and writing in school settings. Mahwah, N.J., London: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  22. Lemperou, L., Chostelidou, D., & Griva, E. (2011). Identifying the training needs of EFL teachers in teaching children with dyslexia. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 410–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li, H., & Suen, K. H. (2012). Are test accommodations for English language learners fair? Language Assessment Quarterly, 9(3), 293–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Loumbourdi, L., & Karacic, Y. (2013). Investigation of trainee-teacher awareness of at-risk and dyslexic students in the EFL classroom in Germany. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 133–149). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  25. Martin, D. (2009). Language disabilities in cultural and linguistic diversity. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  26. Nijakowska, J. (2014). Dyslexia in the European EFL teacher training context. In M. Pawlak & L. Aronin (Eds.), Essential topics in applied linguistics and multilingualism. Second language learning and teaching (pp. 129–154). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
  27. Rontou, M. (2012). Contradictions around differentiation for pupils with dyslexia learning English as a Foreign Language at secondary school. Support for Learners, 27(4), 140–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schissel, L. J. (2010). Critical issues surrounding test accommodations: A language planning and policy perspective. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 25(1), 17–35.Google Scholar
  29. Skoundi, M. (2016). Assessment of learning for pupils with Special Educational Needs. Paper presented at the Conference entitled ‘Teaching and assessing students with disabilities and other educational needs in Secondary Education’, Primary and Secondary Education Offices, Greek Ministry of Education, Heraklion, Crete, Greece (March 18–19, 2016).Google Scholar
  30. Smith, A.-M. (2013). Developing ‘Cognitive assessments for multilingual learners’. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 151–167). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor, L. (2012). Accommodation in language testing. In C. Coombe, P. Davidson, B. O’Sullivan, & S. Stoynoff (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to second language assessment (pp. 307–315). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Taylor, L., & Khalifa, H. (2013). assessing students with disabilities: Voices from the stakeholder community. In D. Tsagari & G. Spanoudis (Eds.), Assessing L2 students with learning and other disabilities (pp. 229–251). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.Google Scholar
  33. Taylor, L., & Nordby Chen, N. (2016). Assessing students with learning and other disabilities/special needs. In D. Tsagari & J. Banerjee (Eds.), Handbook of second language assessment (pp. 377–395). Berlin & New York: Mouton De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  34. Thurlow, M., Thompson, S. J., & Lazarus, S. S. (2006). Considerations for the administration of tests to special needs students: Accommodations, modifications, and more. In S. M. Downing & T. M. Haladyna (Eds.), Handbook of test development (pp. 653–673). Mahwah, N.J., London: L. Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. Tripolitakis, K. (2016) Legal, theoretical and pedagogical framework of assessing students with disabilities and special educational needs in schools of general education in secondary education. Paper presented at the Conference entitled ‘Teaching and assessing students with disabilities and other educational needs in Secondary Education’, Primary and Secondary Education Offices, Greek Ministry of Education, Heraklion, Crete, Greece (March 18–19, 2016).Google Scholar
  36. Tsagari, D. (2016). Assessing language competencies of students with learning and other difficulties. Paper presented at the Conference entitled ‘Teaching and assessing students with disabilities and other educational needs in Secondary Education’, Primary and Secondary Education Offices, Greek Ministry of Education, Heraklion, Crete, Greece (March 18–19, 2016).Google Scholar
  37. Vellutino, F. R., Fletcher, J. M., & Snowling, M. J. (2004). Specific reading disability dyslexia: What have we learned in the past four decades? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(1), 2–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.University of EducationHeidelbergGermany

Personalised recommendations