Classroom Use of Test Accommodations: Issues of Access, Equity, and Conflation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jamie L. Schissel, Assistant Professor of TESOL (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Test accommodations are changes to test administration, responses, or the test itself that are offered to emergent bilingual students for standardized tests and also for classroom assessments in some states in the USA. Currently there is a lack of research examining the use of test accommodations as a pedagogical practice. This paper presents a study of the classroom use of accommodations using data from a comparative ethnographic case study of two different multilingual schools. A historical analysis and definitions of test accommodation effectiveness frame the analysis. Participant observation, field notes, interviews, and classroom artifacts are used to investigate how administrators, teachers, and students appropriate test accommodations as classroom practices and one class in particular serves as an entry point for unpacking classroom use of accommodations. The analysis positions test accommodations as a tool promoting increased access to assessments but cautions that this access may not be an equitable practice, especially when accommodation use conflates emergent bilingual students with students who have disabilities. The paper concludes by exploring the possible implications of using classroom practices to inform policies and the use of test accommodations for emergent bilinguals to explore more options for multilingual education and assessment.

Additional Information

Current Issues in Language Planning
Language: English
Date: 2014
testing accommodations, English language learners, classroom assessment, bilingual education, language education policy

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