ESL Assessment: What We Learn When We Open Pandora's Box

  • Roberta J. Ching California State University
  • Charles A. Moore California State University
Keywords: English as a Second Language, ESL, Assessment


Demographic changes have rendered the traditional categories of English as a Second Language (ESL) and native speakers inadequate. ESL assessment at the university level needs to develop more complex models for assessing whether students whose first language is not English belong in ESL or regular writing programs. Assessors need to take into account students' dominant language and their academic literacy in their first language. The university then needs to develop new programs and curricula that reflect the changing needs of these diverse groups.