The Assessment of English Language Learners: Saskatchewan School Perspectives
English Language Learners (ELLs) are becoming increasingly present in Saskatchewan Schools. School divisions are providing English as an Additional Language (EAL) instruction in order to meet the language, cultural and academic needs of students. Research from the United States and Australia has indicated the need for good induction procedures to assess the needs of individual students while similar research has not been done extensively in Canada, and in Saskatchewan in particular. ELLs represent a heterogeneous group, requiring support for their cultural and linguistic needs, and often face psychological, situational, and institutional barriers. An effective assessment procedure to determine the needs of these students is necessary to inform instruction and specialized services. Current documents from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education indicate that assessment procedures to determine programming are left to individual school divisions, schools or teachers to manage, and best practices have not yet been evaluated. This modified basic qualitative interpretive inquiry research sought out the insights of two teachers, two EAL program administrators, and a community settlement worker representing the two major urban centres in Saskatchewan to discuss: (1) the identification process and intake procedures of ELLs in Saskatchewan; (2) the services provided to ELLs; and (3) the identification of exceptionality in ELL students. The resulting data revealed themes in relation to school induction, EAL programming, and further needs from outside sources to provide for the holistic needs of CLD students. Practical implications of the findings, the limitations of the current study, and areas for future research are discussed.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
Copyright DateAugust 2011
English Language Learners, exceptionality, assessment, Saskatchewan, EAL, intake, services, pullout