A Case Study of Formative Reading Assessment to Support Teaching of EL Reading Comprehension

Jane Robin Shore, Mikyung-Kim Wolf, Margaret Heritage

Abstract


Though much attention has been paid to the unique educational needs of English learners (ELs), there is still a substantial achievement gap in reading, especially in the middle grades and beyond.  Research has identified the features and benefits of formative assessment to improve student learning, especially reading; yet little empirical research is available on the practice of formative assessment for ELs.  This study examined how middle school teachers utilized the English Language Formative Assessment (ELFA) system, a reading assessment system designed for formative purposes, with their intermediate level ELs.  Using a collective case study approach, we present a small-scale usability study on formative assessment as a part of a larger project focused on the research and development of the ELFA system.  Our findings indicate the importance of a system designed to facilitate the use of assessment for formative purposes and highlight the teacher learning that took place with regard to EL reading comprehension and formative assessment.


Keywords


English learners; formative assessment; professional development; reading comprehension

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