Top Five Ways to Differentiate Assessment
for
English Language Learners

¨ Focus on the Essentials – what are the necessary components and key concepts or ideas of the lesson or unit that the student MUST know to continue on and be successful.
Look at your benchmarks!

¨ Limit the number of questions necessary to indicate that a student comprehends a concept. Once they have dealt with a topic once or twice, move on to the next topic.

¨ Group Word List answers in groups of no more than 4 or 5 to minimize clutter and allow the student to focus. Avoid True / False questions, which are set up to subtly sway student choices. In multiple choice questions, limit choices to 3, or even 2, to minimize distraction and focus on mastery.

¨ Allow lists, drawings, and varied ways of communication that are not as language dependent as essay or short answer.

¨ Avoid distracters or clutter on the page that takes away from the students’ ability to focus on the main topic. Make sure the text is clear and legible.