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Developing Programs for English Language Learners: Performance

Resource Materials for Planning and Self-Assessments

Program Evaluation

Student Performance Information

English Language Development

Following are questions that may be considered in evaluating the success of ELL programs in meeting English language development goals:

Rate of English language Development

  • Are students acquiring English language skills at a pace that is consistent with ELL program goals or expectations?

  • Is the rate of language development progress compatible with the district's objectives for academic progress?

English language Proficiency

  • How are ELL students performing in English language skills compared to the district's goals and standards?

  • Are ELL students progressing in English language skills so they will be able to successfully handle regular coursework?

  • Do former ELL students who no longer receive English language development services continue to demonstrate English language skills that enable them to successfully handle regular coursework?

Note: Information collection sources may include: performance on standardized achievement tests; standardized language proficiency tests; English oral, reading, and written skills as demonstrated by grades in language development courses; year-to-year test scores; teacher observation; parental observations and feedback; records on length of time from entry to transition and/or exit from program; grades in core classes; and graduation rates. Longitudinal data can be useful in evaluating overall language development of ELL students. Disaggregation of data by students who are currently in the program and those who formerly received services but who have been determined to no longer need services may be particularly useful.

Academic Performance

This area of the information collection addresses whether ELL students are demonstrating progress in academic content. Are they learning course content in addition to English language development? Once they have completed ELL program services, are they able to participate meaningfully in the mainstream curriculum? The following are considerations that may be appropriate to consider in evaluating program success in the area of academic performance:

Rate of Academic Progress

  • Are ELL students who are currently receiving English language development services progressing academically relative to program goals or expectations?

  • Depending upon the district's goals and educational model (concurrent or sequential), are ELL students making sufficient academic progress so that they are either at academic grade level or will be able to "catch up" academically after English language development services have been discontinued?

Comparison to Other Students

  • How are ELL and former ELL students doing, over time, as compared to the academic performance of all other students generally?

  • Are multiple measures used to assess the overall performance of ELL students in meeting the goals the district has established for its ELL program?

Note: Information collection sources may include a review of grades, standardized achievement tests, state competency standards, meeting promotion and graduation requirements, parent/teacher feedback. Most of the data needed should already be available in the district's records for students generally. Are data collection and maintenance systems maintained to effectively support this portion of the evaluation? Are data systems maintained that permit ELL and former ELL students to be compared to the population generally?

Examples of measures that districts have used to evaluate the success of their ELL programs:

  • state tests (e.g., achievement tests, and state and local school reform goals);

  • standardized tests, including norm-referenced examinations and criterion-referenced tests;

  • teacher observation measures and checklists;

  • portfolios;

  • grade-point averages;

  • graduation/promotion rates;

  • inclusion of ELL students in gifted and talented, and other special programs;

  • participation in extra-curricular activities;

  • drop-out rates; and

  • measures related to meeting state or local school reform goals.

Last Modified: 01/16/2020