Assessment for English Learners

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are sitting in a row in class and are taking exams

— Offered by the College of Education and Health Professions —

Earn professional development hours through the Assessment for English Learners series offered by the College of Education and Health Professions. A National Professional Development grant through the Office of English Acquisition at the U.S. Department of Education will cover the majority of the cost of the three 6-hour modules designed to provide you with a deeper understanding of legal requirements, types of assessments, and the how and why of differentiation and accommodation explicitly for culturally and linguistically diverse students. These modules will provide you with the basic knowledge of the history and legal requirements for assessment for the growing populations of English Language Learners (ELLs) within your classroom as well as the knowledge and skills to create valid assessments in the classroom specifically for ELLs. Those who do not meet the qualifications for grant funding can pay $60 for each class module.

$60 per module

*$12 per module for qualified educators through a U.S. Department of Education grant.

Online / Instructor Led (all modules)

Registration Periods

Each month, participants have from the 1st through the 15th to register for courses.

Participants will have until the last day of the month in which they registered to complete the course(s).

Courses are not offered in December.

Refund Policy

These modules contain self-paced activities for professional development hours. Just as you do not receive individual feedback from the presenter on activities you participate in for face to face PD, you will not be given feedback on these modules, unless your submissions do not meet proficiency requirements. Discussion board activities allow you to learn from other teachers in the module. Rubrics are provided to help you self-assess your work. At the end of the month, your work will be assessed by an instructor. Feedback will be given at that time if needed. You will receive a certificate of completion from Global Campus after your work has been assessed if you complete the module at a proficient level.


*To qualify for grant funding, you must:

  • Have been in a professional educator role in Arkansas in the academic year 2018-2019
  • Plan to be in a professional educator role in Arkansas in the academic year 2019-2020
  • Register online and supply information about your employer, school, class, etc.

If you do not meet these qualifications and are interested in this course, please contact Shannon Siebler at or 479-464-5024 for registration and payment information.

In this first module, you will learn about national- and state-mandated legal requirements for English Language Learners in the public-school setting. You will also evaluate the current reality of your school/district's ESL program. Additionally, you will identify what summative assessments are legally required.

  • Evaluate your district's current implementation of national and state legal requirements for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students and families.
  • Investigate current national and state laws for identification, reclassification, and exit of ELLs from language support programs to ensure equality for all students.
  • Synthesize and provide a rationale for district implementation of national and state requirements for reclassification and exit of ELLs from language support programs using state-mandated summative assessments.
  • Justify the importance of national and state legal requirements for the protection and quality of public education.

Formative Assessments

In module 2, you will gain an understanding of the different types of formative assessments teachers can use in the classroom and how they can affect English Language Learners in the public-school setting. You will learn what formative assessments are, why they are important, how to use them to monitor and adjust instruction in the classroom, and how to incorporate formative data with instruction.

  • Demonstrate understanding of key indicators of assessments through discussion, creation, and application of formative assessments during classroom instruction.
  • Create and implement formative assessments to monitor students’ understanding of content during classroom instruction.
  • Modify and adjust instruction based on formative assessment during classroom instruction.
  • Apply course content to classroom practice through the implementation of formative assessments that enhance learning and success for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Differentiation and Accommodation

In module 3, you will learn about the importance of accommodations and differentiation for English language learners in assessments. During this course you will also learn the importance of using English Language Proficiency Standards and content standards when planning for the varying needs of English language learners.

  • Describe the inherent limitations of assessments for ELLs and justify the use of accommodations to mitigate those limitations.
  • Use various instruments and techniques to assess content-area learning (e.g., math, science, social studies) for ELLs at varying levels of language and literacy development.
  • Understand the appropriate use of norm-referenced assessments with ELLs and utilize the information gained to plan for accommodations and differentiation in the classroom.


Dr. Janet Penner-Williams
Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, TESOL Program

Kimberlyn Gibson
Project CONNECT Director

Shelly McKeever
Project SOAR Director

Trish Lopez
Project CONNECT Research Associate

Sarah Frederickson
Project SOAR Research Associate