Book: Genre Pedagogy Across the Curriculum
Chapter: Standardized assessments for English language learners: implications of differing expectations
This chapter analyzes and compares informational passages used in high-stakes testing in Indiana for high school students. We have selected an informational reading passage from the Item Sampler for the ISTEP+ English 10 End of Course Assessment (ECA). This particular passage is one of three examples provided in the Item Sampler posted on the Indiana Department of Education’s website. We also analyze a text from the Sample Items posted for the LAS Links Assessment, which is used in Indiana to determine English language proficiency of English language learners (ELLs). There is only one reading passage posted for LAS Links, and it is an informational passage. Therefore, for an effective comparison of the assessments, we have selected the informational passage from the ISTEP+ English 10 ECA Item Sampler rather than the story or the poem. We both have interests in the assessment of ELLs since we are directly involved with the process in our current positions. We will focus on the textual metafunction in our analysis and compare the thematic development and cohesion of both texts as we identify differences between the sample passages and implications of these differences for English Language Learners.