Title of Abstract

Are WIDA ACCESS Test Results Appropriately Reflecting English Learners’ Language Skills According to ESOL Teachers’ Experiences?

Submitting Student(s)

Emily Patterson

Session Title

Schools and Education

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Elke Schneider, Ph.D.; Kelly Costner, Ph.D.; Kimberly Oxley, M.A.; & Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

College

College of Education

Department

Education Core

Abstract

This study uses qualitative research methods to gain insight into the authenticity of the widely used English as a second language proficiency assessment formerly referred to as World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA). Language performance data is collected and analyzed annually from nonnative English speaking student populations within the public school districts of three neighboring school districts in South Carolina. WIDA ACCESS testing evaluates English language development by measuring academic and social language skills within the four language domains: reading, writing, listening, and speaking (WIDA, 2022). English learners (ELs) without classified learning or physical disabilities in grades 1-12 participate in the Assessing Comprehension and Communication of English State-to-State (ACCESS) strand of WIDA testing. Teachers administer all four language domain assessments online. Results are used to place students into proficiency categories ranging from entering (a new EL) to bridging (a near-fluent EL) (WIDA, 2022). Focus-group interviews were conducted with English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) instructors at the elementary level within the aforementioned school districts. The interview questions allow the ESOL teachers to share their experiences with ELs’ classroom performances in the four domains compared to their measured performance through the online WIDA assessments.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Are WIDA ACCESS Test Results Appropriately Reflecting English Learners’ Language Skills According to ESOL Teachers’ Experiences?

This study uses qualitative research methods to gain insight into the authenticity of the widely used English as a second language proficiency assessment formerly referred to as World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA). Language performance data is collected and analyzed annually from nonnative English speaking student populations within the public school districts of three neighboring school districts in South Carolina. WIDA ACCESS testing evaluates English language development by measuring academic and social language skills within the four language domains: reading, writing, listening, and speaking (WIDA, 2022). English learners (ELs) without classified learning or physical disabilities in grades 1-12 participate in the Assessing Comprehension and Communication of English State-to-State (ACCESS) strand of WIDA testing. Teachers administer all four language domain assessments online. Results are used to place students into proficiency categories ranging from entering (a new EL) to bridging (a near-fluent EL) (WIDA, 2022). Focus-group interviews were conducted with English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) instructors at the elementary level within the aforementioned school districts. The interview questions allow the ESOL teachers to share their experiences with ELs’ classroom performances in the four domains compared to their measured performance through the online WIDA assessments.