Assessment of English Language Learners

Featuring Dr. Lorraine Valdez Pierce, discussing effective classroom strategies for assessing English language learners.

Assessment of English Language Learners

This website features Dr. Lorraine Valdez Pierce, discussing effective classroom strategies for assessing English language learners.


This 45-minute webcast is a thorough introduction to assessment for teachers of English language learners. Dr. Lorraine Valdez Pierce will discuss performance-based standardized assessments; assessment as a tool for informing instruction; use of assessment to reinforce reading comprehension; and student self-assessment and self-monitoring.

Dr. Lorraine Valdez Pierce will also provide practical advice on how ESL and classroom teachers can collaborate when assessing English language learners and making decisions based on those assessments. Tips on record keeping and rubrics are also included.

Recommended resources

The articles and books below were chosen by Reading Rockets to help you learn more about this issue. The links to are provided for your convenience, and a portion of your purchase helps support Reading Rockets. Thank you!

Articles about assessment of English language learners

Books by our presenter

Additional books

Related links

  • Reading Rockets' sister site features information for families and educators of English language learners.

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Please visit our English language learners/Bilingual section of LearningStore to discover the best research-based practices for teaching ELLs.

Discussion questions

  1. Discuss ways that assessment can promote learning.
  2. Generate your own definition of "performance-based classroom assessment."
  3. Share strategies you currently use that encourage students to monitor their own learning.
  4. How do a child's native language literacy skills help them acquire literacy skills in a second language?
  5. Is there a system in place at your school to assess native language literacy skills?


Lorraine Valdez Pierce is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. She focuses on designing curriculum and assessment procedures for English language learners at the Center for Language & Culture. She has also published articles in TESOL JournalTESOL Matters, and Educational Assessment.

Delia Pompa is the moderator of this webcast. She is the Vice President of the Center for Community Educational Excellence at the National Council of La Raza.