Considering Students ' Language Background On Higher Education Assessment Outcomes

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Considering Students’ Language Background in Higher Education Assessment Outcomes:
The Educational Testing Proficiency Profile

The increasing popularity of assessments that measure students’ college-level knowledge and skills has been accompanied in the past decade by the incremental population of college students whose native language is not English or who speak English as a second language (ESL). Higher Education institutions are more often confronted with the task of considering language background when assessing students’ performance. Although the shifting demographics have become evident in the US, little research exists on outcomes derived of performance assessment of ESL students. The validity of such tests on non-native speakers as well as item analysis have been subject of minimal research. Considering the implications of college assessment outcomes, the importance of taking in account language background when applying these measures becomes significant. The challenge of maintaining equitability in higher education for all students has been impacted by the growing number of ESL students from international an immigrant backgrounds. The ESL student population in colleges and universities may additionally be underestimated due to students who speak English and another language with the same proficiency or those who choose not to identify themselves as nonnative English speakers. Particularly concerning is the validity and equitability of assessment measures

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