Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Mitigating the Effect of Language in the Assess...

Electronic data

  • Manuscript accepted (pre-editorial version)-O.Afitska and T.Heaton

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Afitska, O, Heaton, TJ. Mitigating the effect of language in the assessment of science: A study of English‐language learners in primary classrooms in the United Kingdom. Science Education. 2019; 1– 27. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21545 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sce.21545 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

    Accepted author manuscript, 2.02 MB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Mitigating the Effect of Language in the Assessment of Science: A study of English-language learners in primary classrooms in the United Kingdom

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Standard

Mitigating the Effect of Language in the Assessment of Science : A study of English-language learners in primary classrooms in the United Kingdom. / Afitska, Oksana; Heaton, Timothy.

In: Science Education, Vol. 103, No. 6, 01.11.2019, p. 1396-1422.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Harvard

APA

Vancouver

Author

Bibtex

@article{db4943419c164eeab115148d1bbe89dc,
title = "Mitigating the Effect of Language in the Assessment of Science: A study of English-language learners in primary classrooms in the United Kingdom",
abstract = "Children coming from homes where English is not the primary language constitute a significant and increasing proportion of classrooms worldwide. Providing these English language learners (ELLs) with equitable assessment opportunities is a challenge. We analyse the performance of 485 students, both English native speakers and ELLs, across 5 schools within the UK in the 7-11 year age group on standardized Science assessment tasks. Logistic regression with random effects assesses the impact of English language proficiency,and its interactions with question traits, on performance. Traits investigated were: question focus; need for active language production; presence/absence of visuals; and question difficulty. Results demonstrated that, whileELLs persistently performed more poorly, the gap to their native speaking peers depended significantly upon assessment traits. ELLs were particularly disadvantaged when responses required active language productionand/or when assessed on specific scientific vocabulary. Visual prompts did not help ELL performance. There was no evidence of an interaction between topic difficulty and language ability suggesting lower ELL performance is not related to capacity to understand advanced topics. We propose assessment should permitflexibility in language choice for ELLs with low English language proficiency; while simultaneously recommend subject-specific teaching of scientific language begins at lower stages of schooling.",
keywords = "ELL, Assessment, Primary education, Science, Generalized linear model, random effects",
author = "Oksana Afitska and Timothy Heaton",
note = "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Afitska, O, Heaton, TJ. Mitigating the effect of language in the assessment of science: A study of English‐language learners in primary classrooms in the United Kingdom. Science Education. 2019; 1– 27. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21545 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sce.21545 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving. 30/08/2019",
year = "2019",
month = nov,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/sce.21545",
language = "English",
volume = "103",
pages = "1396--1422",
journal = "Science Education",
issn = "1098-237X",
publisher = "Wiley-Liss Inc.",
number = "6",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mitigating the Effect of Language in the Assessment of Science

T2 - A study of English-language learners in primary classrooms in the United Kingdom

AU - Afitska, Oksana

AU - Heaton, Timothy

N1 - This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Afitska, O, Heaton, TJ. Mitigating the effect of language in the assessment of science: A study of English‐language learners in primary classrooms in the United Kingdom. Science Education. 2019; 1– 27. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21545 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sce.21545 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving. 30/08/2019

PY - 2019/11/1

Y1 - 2019/11/1

N2 - Children coming from homes where English is not the primary language constitute a significant and increasing proportion of classrooms worldwide. Providing these English language learners (ELLs) with equitable assessment opportunities is a challenge. We analyse the performance of 485 students, both English native speakers and ELLs, across 5 schools within the UK in the 7-11 year age group on standardized Science assessment tasks. Logistic regression with random effects assesses the impact of English language proficiency,and its interactions with question traits, on performance. Traits investigated were: question focus; need for active language production; presence/absence of visuals; and question difficulty. Results demonstrated that, whileELLs persistently performed more poorly, the gap to their native speaking peers depended significantly upon assessment traits. ELLs were particularly disadvantaged when responses required active language productionand/or when assessed on specific scientific vocabulary. Visual prompts did not help ELL performance. There was no evidence of an interaction between topic difficulty and language ability suggesting lower ELL performance is not related to capacity to understand advanced topics. We propose assessment should permitflexibility in language choice for ELLs with low English language proficiency; while simultaneously recommend subject-specific teaching of scientific language begins at lower stages of schooling.

AB - Children coming from homes where English is not the primary language constitute a significant and increasing proportion of classrooms worldwide. Providing these English language learners (ELLs) with equitable assessment opportunities is a challenge. We analyse the performance of 485 students, both English native speakers and ELLs, across 5 schools within the UK in the 7-11 year age group on standardized Science assessment tasks. Logistic regression with random effects assesses the impact of English language proficiency,and its interactions with question traits, on performance. Traits investigated were: question focus; need for active language production; presence/absence of visuals; and question difficulty. Results demonstrated that, whileELLs persistently performed more poorly, the gap to their native speaking peers depended significantly upon assessment traits. ELLs were particularly disadvantaged when responses required active language productionand/or when assessed on specific scientific vocabulary. Visual prompts did not help ELL performance. There was no evidence of an interaction between topic difficulty and language ability suggesting lower ELL performance is not related to capacity to understand advanced topics. We propose assessment should permitflexibility in language choice for ELLs with low English language proficiency; while simultaneously recommend subject-specific teaching of scientific language begins at lower stages of schooling.

KW - ELL

KW - Assessment

KW - Primary education

KW - Science

KW - Generalized linear model

KW - random effects

U2 - 10.1002/sce.21545

DO - 10.1002/sce.21545

M3 - Journal article

VL - 103

SP - 1396

EP - 1422

JO - Science Education

JF - Science Education

SN - 1098-237X

IS - 6

ER -