ELLS in the Midwest: Effects of assessments on writing discourse in a rural classroom
This case study investigates the effects of assessments on writing discourse in a mixed classroom of English language learner (ELLs) and English only (EOs) students in rural classrooms in Indiana. The number of ELLs has increased significantly in many parts of rural Indiana over the past two decades. This same population is held accountable by high-stakes tests which are used to show student academic growth and maintain school rankings. Teachers of ELLs strive to find a balance between meeting the needs of their ELL students and high-stakes tests simultaneously. This article explores the effects of assessments on how teachers approach teaching their ELLs, what considerations are made, and how classroom approaches change in light of assessments. Excerpts from interviews with teachers highlight the struggles of classroom teachers, problematizing current trends in teaching ELLs and suggest possible action steps to be taken at the local level.
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