To support multilingual learners of English (MLEs), The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), TESOL International Association, and WIDA have made the following recommendations for and comments on the 2030 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Writing Assessment Framework:
- Anchor the assessment writing framework in universal design for learning (UDL) and its three key principles. Every student should have multiple means of access for engagement, representation, and action and expression (CAST, Inc., 2023).
- Secure resources to review assessments written in multiple languages. As multilingual learners are learning in multiple languages and bring diverse linguistic resources to their writing, the NAEP writing framework should match the students’ mode of instruction and enable multiple means of expression that include students’ rich linguistic resources and language variations. The NAEP framework should approach writing assessment from a multilingual perspective and have comparable forms in multiple languages.
- Treat multilingual learners and students with disabilities independently as they represent distinctly different groups of students. Multilingual learners, multilingual learners with disabilities, and students with disabilities are three distinct student populations, each with unique resources. Embarking on the redesign of the Framework should center on prioritizing characteristics of these groups that can potentially positively impact the results rather than retrofit the existing Framework through accommodations.
- Incorporate opportunities for multilingual learners to access and utilize their rich linguistic and cultural resources during assessment.
- Encourage/Provide inclusive opportunities for multilingual learners and other minoritized students to present perspectives that are representative of their multicultural orientations.
- Include diverse stakeholders who bring expert cultural and linguistic representation to the framework design committees.
- Reconsider or redefine the construct of writing from ‘quill and ink model’ to a 21st century model that includes digital citizenship and multi-modal forms of expression.Modern communication is increasingly supported by visual and digital content, lower
- density of text, and non-linear formats, with attention to digital citizenship andmultimodal literacy.
Additionally, recommendations are:
- Disaggregate and report data using ESSA reporting categories and show growth of MLEs over time in cohorts.
- Expand professional learning opportunities on the writing framework to include ELD/ESOL/Bilingual/Language teachers
- Include an assessment for writing in the arts
- Specifically assess writing ability using narration, description, classification, and evaluation skills as related to the purposes for written communication: persuasive,experiential, expository, and writing in the arts