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Best Practices for an Effective English Language Learner Evaluation

by | Sep 5, 2023 | ELL | 0 comments

Summer Boot Camp has since passed, but today, we will take some time to reflect on one of the topics presented: Best Practices for Evaluating English Learners! Let’s take a look at 3 key takeaways from the perspectives of a bilingual and monolingual school psych on how they progress through best practices to ensure a comprehensive and compliant evaluation for their students.

Personal Factors May Impact Learning

When completing an ELL evaluation, it is essential that school psychs take into account extrinsic factors that may be impacting a student’s life and their progress in school. Be sure to gather personal and cultural information from parents/guardians and use an interpreter if needed. Here are some suggested questions psychs can ask to gather more information.

  • Has the student endured separation from family members (e.g., parent(s) living abroad, immigration, military deployment, divorce)?
  • Is family support available to the student (e.g., academic support, homework routines)?
  • Have traditional hierarchical roles shifted within the family (e.g., student taking on more responsibility with childcare, interpreting, etc.)?

Teachers are a Wealth of Knowledge 

Conducting an interview with the student’s teacher(s) is equally important as speaking with the child’s parents/guardians. The data teachers provide can hold key information about the student’s overall educational progress. What types of questions can school psychs ask teachers? Check out the following suggestions!

  • In what language is classroom instruction?
  • How well does the student understand and express ideas and feelings?
  • What language does the student use most frequently when interacting with peers? 

Meaningful Classroom Observations

Classroom observations are a window into a child’s learning experiences. Through careful observation, school psychs can gain invaluable insights into teaching strategies, student engagement, and classroom dynamics that might otherwise remain concealed. When observing an English language learner, what specific questions can the psych ask him or herself to learn most about the student? Here are a few ideas to help psychs glean the most important information.

  • What scaffolding strategies (if any) are being utilized by the teacher?
  • What evidence do you have that the student comprehends the material being presented by the teacher?
  • How are the other students responding to the student being observed? 

If you missed Summer Boot Camp 2023, now is your chance to purchase the replays! From organization, to evaluating 4-year-olds, to manifestation determinations and more, Summer Boot Camp offers various topics relevant to your important work as a school psychologist. By purchasing the replays today, you will have access to watch them at your leisure until October 31st! Invest in yourself and elevate your skills! Sign up before registration closes in mid-October!

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