Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Kathy Green, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dianne Lefly

Third Advisor

Elinor Katz

Fourth Advisor

Roger E. Salters


Accommodation, Assessment, English, Language, Learner


The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act changed assessment for English Language Learners (ELLs). Under the law, states must validly assess ELLs' English Language Proficiency (ELP) and content knowledge. The law shed light on the achievement of ELLs while also creating challenges for states in validating state assessment and accountability systems. Test accommodations are used for ELLs to reduce threats to test score validity and measure academic achievement as accurately and fairly as possible. Since ELLs are working towards proficiency in English, they face linguistic and socio-cultural barriers under the confines of large scale assessment. A limited body of research regarding accommodations for ELLs exists, but has inconclusive findings that do not factor in student background variables. This study examined to what extent linguistic accommodation led to improvement in test performance of ELLs using ELP scores from the Colorado English Language Acquisition Assessment (CELApro) and Mathematics scores from the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) along with student background variables. The results of this study suggest that Translated Oral Scripts seemed to make the biggest difference for all grade levels in terms of association with higher CSAP performance. Students using Word-to-Word Dictionaries also showed increased performance for grades eight and ten. Grades three through seven were not included for this accommodation because of small sample sizes. Oral Scripts and Teacher Read Directions were associated with positive score increases for some grades and negative score drops for others. Students with lower levels of English proficiency tended to benefit more from receiving accommodations than students with higher proficiency. Analyzing the accommodations by grade also revealed differential accommodation effects. Third grade students receiving Translated Oral Scripts had higher CSAP scores than their non-accommodated peers, those using regular Oral Scripts benefitted slightly, while the effects of Teacher Read directions and Extended Timing appear to be worse than receiving No Accommodation for this sample. In grade ten, it did not matter what accommodations students received--none seemed to be associated with student performance.

While the analyses showed that for the most part Teacher Read Directions, Extended Timing, and Oral Scripts were not significantly associated with Fluent-English Proficient (FEP) performance, it is unfortunate that the student samples receiving Translated Oral Scripts and Word-to-Word Dictionaries were insufficient in size to allow their inclusion. The FEP results may be due to the fact that FEPs no longer benefit from accommodations since they have a high level of ELP. Considering the significant role that assessment results have in guiding decisions about individuals and organizations, it is crucial to continue examining how to fairly assess ELLs while using systematic research-based practices.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Marisol Enriquez


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

154 p.


Educational tests & measurements, Education, Educational administration