Ongoing Assessment

Ongoing Assessment
of Language, Literacy, and Content Learning

Ongoing assessment of student learning provides continuous feedback on the effectiveness of instruction and indicates areas where a change in instructional strategy may be advised. Such assessments may range from planned assessments (such as quizzes, end-of-chapter tests, and report or essay writing) to informal classroom observations of student language and literacy behaviors.

Teachers of ELLs are often well-positioned to assess students through their performance, examining student work, observing oral language development, and evaluating incremental progress. Ongoing, performance-based assessments may reveal strengths and growth increments not detectable by annual high-stakes testing (Hurley & Tinajera, 2001; Fradd & McGee with Wilen, 1994). Questions that commonly relate to assessments in the classroom are answered below.

  1. How should an ELL's performance be assessed by a classroom teacher?
  2. How can English oral language proficiency skills be assessed?
  3. How can students' literacy activities in their first language be assessed?
  4. How can family literacy activities be assessed when the parents do not speak English?
  5. How can ELL writing be assessed in the classroom?
  6. When assessing student writing, what cultural issues should be taken into account?



Hurley, S. R., & Tinajero, J. V. (Eds.). (2001). Literacy assessment of second language learners. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.