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Assessment accommodations for multilingual learners : pupils’ perceptions of fairness

Fauve De Backer (UGent) , Stef Slembrouck (UGent) and Piet Van Avermaet (UGent)
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Abstract
A challenge in designing tests is ensuring fairness for all test takers. Pupils who are not yet sufficiently proficient in the language of schooling taking a test that was designed for native speakers is unfair, since they will not be able to demonstrate their true abilities (Abedi, J., and C. Lord. 2001. "The Language Factor in Mathematics Tests." Applied Measurement in Education 14 (3): 219-234.). Multilingual pupils should be provided with accommodations to overcome these challenges but most studies on assessment accommodations for multilingual pupils focus on effectiveness and validity, rather than on fairness (Li, H., and H. K. Suen. 2012. "Are test accommodations for English language learners fair?" Language Assessment Quarterly 9 (3): 293-309). This study fills a gap in current research by viewing accommodation practices through an insiders' lens. Pupils (n = 35) in the fifth grade of primary education were interviewed about a hypothetical test situation which displayed a range of accommodations. Pupils interpret the benefits of accommodations as leading towards more inclusion, as contributing to better understanding, and as increasing learning of both L1 and L2. Results contribute to the fairness debate on which pupils should be given accommodations and who should not.
Keywords
Assessment, testing, fairness, accommodations, multilingualism, primary education, ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNERS, EDUCATION, ISSUES, Steunpunt Diversiteit & Leren

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MLA
De Backer, Fauve, et al. “Assessment Accommodations for Multilingual Learners : Pupils’ Perceptions of Fairness.” JOURNAL OF MULTILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT, vol. 40, no. 9, 2019, pp. 833–46, doi:10.1080/01434632.2019.1571596.
APA
De Backer, F., Slembrouck, S., & Van Avermaet, P. (2019). Assessment accommodations for multilingual learners : pupils’ perceptions of fairness. JOURNAL OF MULTILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT, 40(9), 833–846. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2019.1571596
Chicago author-date
De Backer, Fauve, Stef Slembrouck, and Piet Van Avermaet. 2019. “Assessment Accommodations for Multilingual Learners : Pupils’ Perceptions of Fairness.” JOURNAL OF MULTILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT 40 (9): 833–46. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2019.1571596.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Backer, Fauve, Stef Slembrouck, and Piet Van Avermaet. 2019. “Assessment Accommodations for Multilingual Learners : Pupils’ Perceptions of Fairness.” JOURNAL OF MULTILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT 40 (9): 833–846. doi:10.1080/01434632.2019.1571596.
Vancouver
1.
De Backer F, Slembrouck S, Van Avermaet P. Assessment accommodations for multilingual learners : pupils’ perceptions of fairness. JOURNAL OF MULTILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT. 2019;40(9):833–46.
IEEE
[1]
F. De Backer, S. Slembrouck, and P. Van Avermaet, “Assessment accommodations for multilingual learners : pupils’ perceptions of fairness,” JOURNAL OF MULTILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT, vol. 40, no. 9, pp. 833–846, 2019.
@article{8612268,
  abstract     = {{A challenge in designing tests is ensuring fairness for all test takers. Pupils who are not yet sufficiently proficient in the language of schooling taking a test that was designed for native speakers is unfair, since they will not be able to demonstrate their true abilities (Abedi, J., and C. Lord. 2001. "The Language Factor in Mathematics Tests." Applied Measurement in Education 14 (3): 219-234.). Multilingual pupils should be provided with accommodations to overcome these challenges but most studies on assessment accommodations for multilingual pupils focus on effectiveness and validity, rather than on fairness (Li, H., and H. K. Suen. 2012. "Are test accommodations for English language learners fair?" Language Assessment Quarterly 9 (3): 293-309). This study fills a gap in current research by viewing accommodation practices through an insiders' lens. Pupils (n = 35) in the fifth grade of primary education were interviewed about a hypothetical test situation which displayed a range of accommodations. Pupils interpret the benefits of accommodations as leading towards more inclusion, as contributing to better understanding, and as increasing learning of both L1 and L2. Results contribute to the fairness debate on which pupils should be given accommodations and who should not.}},
  author       = {{De Backer, Fauve and Slembrouck, Stef and Van Avermaet, Piet}},
  issn         = {{0143-4632}},
  journal      = {{JOURNAL OF MULTILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT}},
  keywords     = {{Assessment,testing,fairness,accommodations,multilingualism,primary education,ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNERS,EDUCATION,ISSUES,Steunpunt Diversiteit & Leren}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{9}},
  pages        = {{833--846}},
  title        = {{Assessment accommodations for multilingual learners : pupils’ perceptions of fairness}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2019.1571596}},
  volume       = {{40}},
  year         = {{2019}},
}

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