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English as a Second Language

Programs that offer opportunities for non-English-speaking and limited-English-speaking adults to learn listening, speaking, reading and writing skills with an emphasis on developing the level of communication competence that is essential for adults who are living in a setting in which English is the primary language. Also included are programs that provide English language instruction for younger people.

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Adult English as a Second Language Tests

Programs that administer tests to assess the English proficiency skills of adults for whom English is a second language for the purpose of placing learners in appropriate instructional levels and measuring their ongoing progress. Assessment tools include commercially available tests that assess English literacy (reading and writing), listening and speaking skills, as well as classroom-based tools such as surveys, interviews, checklists, observation measures, teacher-developed tests, learner self-assessment and portfolios or other performance samples.

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Language Proficiency Testing

Programs that administer tests which assess the ability of examinees to speak, understand, read and/or write English, French or any of a wide variety of other languages. The examinations may measure different levels of competency and may test oral language capabilities (how well individuals understand and express themselves in a language including their vocabulary and grammar), reading comprehension and/or written language competency (how well individuals write in a particular language and/or are able to translate to and from that language). In some instances, the cultural competency of examinees is also measured. Language proficiency examinations may be given to the current or potential employees of organizations in situations where mastery of a particular language is a work requirement, to students who need a minimum level of proficiency to succeed in their classes, to students who have studied a foreign language (e.g., in high school) to assure appropriate college/university-level course placement, to individuals who want to teach in a particular language and to people who need to demonstrate proficiency for other reasons.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.

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