Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#CommonCore in TESOL Quarterly September 2014 - III

Mislevy (2014) in an examinations of the sociocognitive aspects of assessment and the Common Core notes (p567) that it was expected to enable assessment of ELLs autonomous abilities with language - I assume by this we mean the Learner working alone and unaided in the testing room, as against working collaboratively with fellow Learners and teacher(s) in the classroom - or elsewhere. But this is contra-indicated by the Common Core's emphasis on the 4 modalities being used together. [NB shift in taxonomy from 4 skills.] I've been aware when designing assessment of Common Core constructs how intertwined Speaking and Listening have been conceptualised. 

There follows what might be regarded as a rather bold claim that the Standards "are consistent with theory and research showing that English is learned socially through rich scaffolded interactions that help students acquire high-level analytic thinking in all four modalities of language in classroom meaning-making activities." This statement is referenced to Walqui (2010) rather than the standards themselves (?). Clearly I need to read Walqui. 

ELLs adapt learning practice in light of other students' and teacher's thoughts and utterances, (OK), "based on teachers’ classroom assessment practices" (?) Really? Based on feedback and what is picked up and processed in the classroom. There may be classroom assessment, but it will be of variable quality and is unlikely (in my experience) to be more than another one of several strands of learning in the classroom.

Learners may use idiom and L1 in analysing constructs in the classroom, (S-T-S, and S-S, presumably. Mislevy wonders how we could deal with this in formative assessments. Easy. Rubrics would include scoring for register/genre. 


Mislevy, R. J., & DurĂ¡n, R. P. (2014). A sociocognitive perspective on assessing EL students in the age of Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. TESOL Quarterly48(3), 560-585.

van Lier, L., & Walqui, A. (2012). Language and the Common Core Standards. Stan- ford, CA: Understanding Language Project.

Walqui, A., & van Lier, L. (2010). Scaffolding the academic success of adolescent English language learners. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.