The Role of Biliteracy Assessments

The Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education emphasize that research on effective schools, including effective bilingual and dual language programs, discusses the important role of assessment and accountability. A substantial number of studies have
converged on the significance of using student achievement data to shape and/or monitor instruction and their instructional program. (August & Hakuta, 1997; Berman, Minicucci, McLaughlin, Nelson & Woodworth, 1995; Corallo & McDonald, 2002; Reyes, Scribner & Paredes Scribner, 1999; Slavin & Calderón, 2001) Effective dual language programs use multiple valid and reliable measures in both languages to:

  • Assess students’ progress toward meeting bilingual and biliteracy goals along with the curricular and content-related goals.
  • Identify and address issues of curriculum, assessment, and instructional alignment (Corallo & McDonald, 2002; U.S. Department of Education, 1998
  • Evaluate program effectiveness
  • Communicate with the larger community around assessment results

Solano-Flores and Trumbull (2003) argue that new research and assessment practices need to be developed that include providing the same items in English and the native language, and that this will lead to more valid and reliable assessment outcomes. Effective schools use assessment measures that are aligned with the school’s vision and goals and with appropriate curriculum and related standards. (Lindholm-Leary & Molina, 2000; Montecel & Cortez, 2002)