Improving Content and Language Integrated Tests

It is really hard to write a great test for students, but those of us who teach language through content have double the trouble.

Our task- balancing the content and language assessment in one test.

For many teachers, their tests probably either lean toward the language side or the content side. For me, I was  guilty of learning heavily toward the content side.

So how can we move toward a more balanced approach?

Johanna Leal may have a solution.

Leal conducted a study in Columbia with third grade science teachers who taught through English. She had the teachers use an assessment grid she created and tracked their test questions over a school year.

The assessment grid has the following categories for test questions:

  1. Quadrant 1: high content / low language
  2. Quadrant 2: high content / high language
  3. Quadrant 3: low content / low language
  4. Quadrant 4: low content / high language

At the beginning of the year, the teachers leaned in favor of content, much like I used to. But at the end of the year, after using the grid, their tests were more balanced.

Interested in learning more about the grid and the test making process? Check out the article here: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1132154

Do you have any test making tips? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments section!

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