[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Stacey Shaw




More than ever before, teachers need to understand how- and what- to assess when seeking to understand the learning of students in the classroom. As our schools and classrooms become more linguistically diverse, teachers will benefit from knowing what assessment methods will be the most accurate, effective, and useful tools for driving instruction and making placement decisions for ELL students. The text, Assessment and ESL, is a comprehensive guide to assessment of English language learners. This course will offer tools and suggestions for authentic assessment that will help both students and teachers to identify key areas of focus for instruction.

Required Text: Assessment and ESL: An Alternative Approach, is available for approximately $10 used at




LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Understand the unique issues involved in assessing ELL students.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the use of assessment in student placement.
  • Demonstrate understanding of a variety of assessment strategies for ELL students.
  • Demonstrate understanding of current research in ELL assessment.
  • Evaluate assessment, instruction, and educational environment for ELL success.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Assessment and ESL: An Alternative Approach, 2007, by Barbara Law and Mary Eckes. P & M Press ISBN: 978-1-55379-093-8. About $10 used on Amazon

  • Assessment and ESL: An Alternative Approach 2nd edition by Law, Barbara, Eckes, Mary (2007) Paperback

    Buy from Amazon


Text, Assessment and ESL: An Alternative, is approximately $10 from



Assignment #1: Introduce Yourself

  • Introduce yourself in 1-2 pages (single spaced).
  • Include a brief description of your experience in education and your interest in taking this course.
    Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ‘Assessment #1’

Assignment #2: Read Preface

  • Read the Preface and Introduction.
  • In a 3-4 page essay briefly describe the four themes of real language, integrated and whole language, a facilitating environment, and learning as a continuum.
    Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ‘Assessment #2’

Assignment #3: Read Chapter 1 & 2

  • Read Chapters 1 & 2 (pgs. 9-41).  
  • Write a 3-4 page reflection paper on this chapter that answers these three questions:
  • Why do we assess students?
  • What are two things we need to learn from the assessments that we give students?
  • What is one alternative form of assessment  (other than standardized testing)?
    Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ‘Assessment #3’

Assignment #4: Read Chapter 3

  • Read Chapter 3 (pgs. 42-78). 
  • In a 3-4 page paper provide an outline and a brief description of the steps involved in determining student placement.
    Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ‘Assessment #4’

Assignment #5: Read Chapter 4 & 5

  • Read Chapter 4 & 5 (pgs 79–156).  
  • What are some of the key characteristics of an emerging writer and an emerging reader?
  • Reflect on these questions and describe the steps in 3-4 pages.
    Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ‘Assessment #5’

Assignment #6: Read Chapter 6

  • Read Chapter 6 (pgs. 157-179).  
  • Which of the checklists, rubrics and/or tools for tracking student understanding and your observations do you find most useful?
  • Why do you find it helpful?
  • Write 2-3 pages.
    Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ‘Assessment #6’



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #7: Read Chapter 7 & 8

  • Read Chapter 7 & 8 (pgs. 180 -215).  
  • Create a checklist that you would use to determine whether an ELL student is ready to ‘exit’ an ELL instructional program and enter completely into a mainstream classroom language curriculum.
    Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #7’.

Assignment #8: Read Chapter 9 & 10

  • Read Chapter 9 & 10 (pgs. 217-254) 
  • Who are the stakeholders that this chapter refers to and what assessment information is it crucial to present to those stakeholders?
  • What are standards and why are they useful in assessment of ELL students?
  • Write a 3-4 page reflection on these questions.
    Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #8’

Assignment #9: Read Chapter 11

  • Read Chapter 11 (pgs. 255-280)
  • Reflect on the steps for change that are discussed in this chapter.
  • What are three areas that you will focus on in your own school and classroom to affect positive change for your ELL students in terms of authentic assessment and instruction?
  • Write 2-3 pages answering this question.
    Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #9’

Assignment #10: Design & Implement You Plan

  • Design a plan to use several forms of authentic assessment with one or more of your ELL students, and implement your plan.
  • In 2-3 pages, describe the students and their situation, your assessment plan and how that plan actually influenced your instruction.
    Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #10’

Assignment #11: Create a Lesson

Assignment 11-A:

  • Create a lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course.
  • Use The Heritage Institute lesson template or one from your district. (
  • Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
  • Write a 250-500 word commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
  • Include any student feedback on your lesson.
  • We encourage you to share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by also contributing your Lesson Plan to The Heritage Institute Lesson Plan Library. (
  • Send your lesson plan and your commentary via email to your instructor.
    Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #11-A’

Assignment #11-B:

  • Create a lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
  • Use The Heritage Institute lesson template or one from your district. (
  • We encourage you to share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by contributing your Lesson Plan to The Heritage Institute Lesson Plan Library. (
  • Write a 500+ word article concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.
  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog What Works: Teaching at its Best prior to writing your article.  (
  • When you submit your article to your instructor, please also email a copy to Yvonne Hall, THI blog curator and media specialist.
  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 
  • Submit your lesson along with your article via email to your instructor.  
    Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #11-B’

Assignment #12: (500 Level ONLY)

Option A)
Create a PowerPoint template to use in creating an informational presentation to stakeholders.
On each slide, write the indicator of what information should appear on the slide with basic directions/suggestions for the content.
For example:

  • Slide 1: Enter the instructor name, school name, district name.
  • Slide 2: Number of ELL students receiving services, assessments used for baseline data.
  • Slide 3: Number of ELL Students in your classroom
  • Slide 4: Description of ELL specific assessment(s) used for a given time period
  • Slide 5: Data gathered from given assessment
  • Slide 6: Description of the application of the data for driving future instruction

Send to instructor via email: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #12-’
Option B)
Create a complete lesson plan and assessment for ELL’s that you will use in your current or future classroom.
Send to instructor via email: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #12-B’
Option C)
Another assignment of your own design with the instructor’s prior approval.
Send to instructor via email: Subject line to read ‘Assessment #12-C’


Assignment #13: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.


Stacey Shaw, M.Ed. has years of experience as an instructor at the middle school and elementary school levels. She has taught all ages, from kindergarten through college in subjects ranging from English Language Arts and Social Studies to English as a Second Language and Spanish. 

Stacey learned a second language as an adult and understands first-hand the processes involved in second language acquisition. She has a passion for language and a track-record of developing highly successful ELL and Spanish literacy programs for second language learners.

Stacey received her Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in 1992. Her undergraduate studies focused on bilingual education, Spanish language, and Latin American Studies. She received her Master of Arts in Education from Prescott College in 2003. Stacey is currently working on her Doctorate of Education at Lewis and Clark College.



Gottlieb, Margo, Assessing English Language Learners: Bridges From Language Proficiency to Academic Achievement, 2006, paperback, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-7619-8889-2
This well-documented text examines the unique needs of the growing population of English language learners (ELLs) and describes strategies for implementing instructional assessment of language and content. With both depth and breadth, the author articulates how to equitably and comprehensively assess the language proficiency and academic achievement of ELLs. Both practicing and aspiring educators will benefit from:

  1. Rubrics, charts, checklists, surveys, and other ready-to-use tools.
  2. Professional development activities
  3. An integrated approach to teaching standards, language, and content
  4. Guidance on how best to address standardized testing and grading

Herrera, G. Socorro, Murry, Kevin G., Cabral, Robin M. Assessment Accommodations for Classroom Teachers of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (2nd Edition), 2012, paperback, 336 pages. ISBN 978-0-1328-5335-4
A much-needed resource for helping teachers assess the increasing number of diverse students and English learners in today’s K-12 classrooms, Assessment Accommodations for Classroom Teachers of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students details effective classroom assessment practices and organizes recommended strategies around the four critical dimensions of the CLD student biography: the sociocultural, linguistic, academic, and cognitive dimensions

Colorin Colorado
Colorín Colorado is the premier national website serving educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK-12. Colorín Colorado has been providing free research-based information, activities, and advice to schools and communities around the country for more than a decade.

Free ESL Materials
This website has collected ELL/ESL assessment resources from around the web in one place for easy access. From this website, you can find links to many sites to review current research and practical tools for ELL assessment.

University of Wisconsin
Here you will find a hand selected index of authentic assessment resources. You are one click away from vital information about performance assessment, rubrics,
negotiable contracting, and electronic portfolios. We include links to web based tools for creating your own assessment

This Wiki has been created as an "electronic tool kit" for teachers with English Language Learners in their classroom. English Language Learners (ELL's) face many challenges in the classroom where English is spoken, and my intent with this Wiki is to provide both information for teachers to understand why these challenges exist, as well as provide some resources they may use to help the students overcome these challenges.