BACKGROUND

Many English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities are not included in the required state English language proficiency (ELP) assessment. Currently there is limited evidence regarding the progress toward English proficiency for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Such evidence is critical to ensure success in school, the path to college, career, and community readiness.

The Alternate English Language Learning Assessment (ALTELLA) project builds on the lessons learned from the past decade of research on assessing English learners and students with significant cognitive disabilities, as separate groups. The project seeks to examine instructional practices and policies for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities to develop an evidence-centered design approach.

The project examines current ELP standards with the goal of developing a foundational knowledge base and furthering the inclusion of students in English language instruction. This work is critical to inform development of an alternate English language proficiency assessment.