Assessment tools for ELL and learning issues

  Posted by Nicole Arondus for BCPVPA
150 2
Oct 04/19 10:23am
What are some of the assessment tools being used to identify students that are ELL and/or have learning issues? I need some feedback on what is being used, how well it works and where to get it. Thanks 


7 Responses

Oct 04/19 11:35am

Hi Nicole,

This document [] is a good starting point for the ELL specific part of your inquiry. There are a number of links to assessments and strategies for supporting our ELL students and the staff that directly engage with them. 


Oct 04/19 1:08pm

Hi Nicole,

Hi Denise from Victoria here.  

If you would like assessment tools for ELL, i have Oral, and guidelines for writing assessments for all levels that i would be happy to share.  The oral language assessment was developed with the new 5 level ELL Performance standards  in mind for ease of scoring.   (I was a co-author on those BC ELL Standards)

If you want to dig deeper regarding suspected learning/cognitive issues for students who are English language learners,  a group of Coquitlam SD psychologists developed a working memory assessment that they have 'normed' loosely with ELL students.  It will provide a measure of a students ability to hold and use information that is not language based (numerals are used). While it is not standardized, it does provide information and clues if a EL student is not progressing along the ELL Proficiency standards.  I do not have a copy, but I have seen it. The district was willing to share, if you have a contact in Coquitlam. I can try to track it down as well if you would like.

You may already know this,  but English psych ed assessments are not appropriate if a student is within the first 5 years of English instruction.  At one time, first language assessments were available in the lower mainland, but I haven't accessed these services in over 12-15 years.     

Let me know if you would like me to share what we have - if your ELL team is part of METRO, they likely have our assessments, as we like to share :)

Oct 04/19 1:09pm

Also, you get to look at my colleague Jon's lovely mug as he shared your query with me. I need a picture :)

Oct 04/19 1:30pm

Thank you so much for your response. If you could share that with me I would really appreciate it. I currently do not have a contact in Coquitlam. Again, thank you so much for your help.
Would you need my email address or could you share it here?

Oct 08/19 10:57am

yes please email me directly

Oct 04/19 4:15pm

Hi Nicole,

SD 23 uses IPT (Idea Proficiency Tests) Oral for K - 12, Writing gr 4+ and Reading gr 4+ assessments by Ballard and Tighe


Oct 04/19 6:37pm

If you are looking for an assessment tool that can be used with ELL students who are struggling - then you may find the following helpful: 

The Ortiz PVAT is a level B assessment that has been normed on the number of years an ELL student has been learning English. It's focus is English vocabulary acquisition. We have been trying it since last year and are finding it quite helpful in Delta.

This assessment is not for determining English language proficiency levels but for digging deeper for students who are both learning English as an additional language and also struggling with their learning in ways that we wouldn't otherwise expect. 


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