Biliteracy Assessments: A Holistic & Additive Approach

According to Kathy Escamilla (2014), when using a holistic biliteracy approach to assessment:

  • Languages are viewed as mutually reinforcing.
  • Literacy assessments are administered separately, but analyzed in both languages concurrently for cross-language comparison and to document students’ biliteracy trajectories.
  • Literacy assessment instruments are authentic, taking into consideration features of language organization and discourse styles that are unique to each language.
  • Students are expected to show different strengths in performance of tasks in different languages.
  • Bilingual strategies such as code-switching, lexical borrowing, and bidirectional transfer are regarded as part of the process of learning to read and write in two languages.