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ELLs at the Center: Rethinking High Stakes Testing

By: Wilma Ortiz, Karen Sumaryono
Publication: English Journal
Date: July 2010

Summary: The authors propose ways to ameliorate the tensions of high stakes testing of ELL students by fostering high expectations for all students while honoring the home languages of English learners.


Excerpt from Article

It is our experience that when teachers honor both the oral and written home languages in school, they validate the child's point of power in learning; thus, academic investment is most likely to occur. Then students are willing to understand that Standard English is the language of social capital and the importance of adding it to their already-sophisticated home language. They have the resources to transfer their mastery of their home dialect or first language to the task of learning a new language."

Copyright © 2010 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Posted with permission.
Ortiz-Marrero, Floris Wilma, and Karen Sumaryono. 2010, July. "Success with ELLs: ELLs at the Center: Rethinking High-Stakes Testing." English Journal 99 (6): 93-96.

About the Authors Floris Wilma Ortiz, 2011 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, is an ESL teacher at the Amherst Regional Middle School in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Karen L. Sumaryono currently teaches and coordinates the Elementary ESL Program at the American International School in Chennai, India.

Both authors have been leaders at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project.

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