High-Stakes Testing and English Language Learners: Using Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Literacy Practices in the High School English Classroom

Authors

  • VICKY GIOUROUKAKIS PhD,

    Associate Professor
    1. Molloy College
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    • Vicky Giouroukakis, PhD, is an associate professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College, in Rockville Centre, New York. She has published on the topics of TESOL, literacy, and assessment.

  • ANDREA HONIGSFELD EdD

    Associate Professor
    1. Molloy College
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    • Andrea Honigsfeld, EdD, is an associate professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College, in Rockville Centre, New York. She has published extensively on learning styles, differentiated instruction, and teacher collaboration for the sake of English language learners.


Abstract

This multicase study investigated the impact of high-stakes testing on the literacy practices of teachers of high school English language learners (ELLs) in three Long Island, New York, school districts, in one of the most racially and socioeconomically segregated regions of the United States. The goal of the study was to explore what kinds of literacy tasks and materials were implemented in order to develop ELLs' literacy skills and prepare them to be successful on the state's high-stakes English exam. Findings indicate that all four teachers participating in the study engaged in (a) instructional activities and materials that directly prepared students for the state's high-stakes exam (teaching to the test) and (b) culturally and linguistically responsive practices. It is also apparent from the data that teachers were addressing the duality of helping students succeed on the exam and preparing them to become lifelong learners by reflecting on the impact of high-stakes testing on students' diverse needs.

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