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Needs Assessment in the Multilevel ESL Classroom When to assess students in a multilevel setting At intake and placement Questions surrounding student assessment in a multilevel setting How is student progress currently measured in Montana programs?

What language skills, content knowledge, and life skills are assessed?

How do you know when a student is ready to move on to the next class? As part of ongoing classroom routines

How do you know what the "end goals" are?

How is assessing progress for a student with low literacy skills and limited prior education different from assessing a student with stronger literacy/test taking skills and educational experience, and how do you keep track of that? At the end of the course of instruction

What Is Effective Multilevel Instruction?

What types of questions and activities can be used to conduct a needs assessment? Activities/Formats Focus groups and group discussion Questionnaires (written, pictorial, oral) Checklists Interviews Inventories of language and literacy use Language logs Personal logs/journals Self assessments Timelines (past, present, future goals) Brainstorming lists Mind maps "Getting to know you" activities Foreign text samples Tape recorded class interactions CASAS reports (competencies and content standards) Questions/Information Why do you want to study English? What do you want to learn? How long have you been studying English (in the U.S. and abroad)? How, when, with whom, and where do you usually use English (orally/aurally/in writing)? How, when, and where would you like to use English (orally/aurally/in writing? Do you have children or other family members who are learning English? What are your preferences for attending class and studying on your own? What is easy/difficult for you in class? Do you have American friends? Are you comfortable in social situations? On the job? Do you want to change your job or improve your job performance in some way? Do you use a computer at home or at work? Would you like to learn computer skills?

See for examples of several types of needs assessment formats for learners at beginning, intermediate, and and advanced levels!

What Is Effective Multilevel Instruction?

Forms of Multilevel Assessment and Evaluation Assessment Activity Informal Observations Features of Activity Create a timetable to observe 2-3 students in depth per class and observe the following: - Students' attitudes and engagement/ownership in learning - Verbal expression and communication and listening comprehension - Written work length, accuracy, vocabulary, organization - Reading abilities and strategies Check off performance or learning objectives as they are met by each individual, OR: Students create goal sheets that they check off as they go, provided that time is given in class for this type of review and reflection Role plays, letters, presentations, etc. The teacher will need a rubric to measure quality

Checklists of learning objectives, competencies, or standards and benchmarks (progress indicators) Performance assessments


Student self-assessment Student peer assessment Student portfolios

Teacher self-reflection and assessment

"Can do" checklists Class-created rubrics and checklists for presentations, projects, performances - Class assessments - Self assessments - Reading logs - Writing samples - Recordings - Spelling tests - Teacher journals can help busy teachers of multilevel classes keep track of the various activities for each of the student levels represented in the classroom - Teacher checklists to evaluate own coverage of all language skills and content areas (from Bell, J. (2004). Teaching Multilevel Classes in ESL):

* Did I allow for some self selection of activities? * Did I include some whole class activities to develop group spirit? * Did I make clear to the students the purpose of their activities? * Did I spend some time with each group of students? * Did I allow all students the opportunity to play the "teacher role," at least within a group? * Did I adjust the grouping arrangements to make sure that stronger students are not dominating the activities?, etc.

What Is Effective Multilevel Instruction?


Assessment in the Multilevel ESL Classroom

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