Assessing the progress of English language learners' (ELLs') language acquisition has never been afforded the educational status as has assessing these same students' content knowledge and skills through English. That is, historically, language assessment, the measurement of students' proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, has not been weighed against these students' skills and subject area knowledge measured by their academic achievement. For the most part, U.S. educators agree that learning English is not only necessary, but essential for success in school and beyond; the idea of monitoring students' language growth toward becoming proficient in English, however, has remained independent from documenting their academic progress, particularly in the content areas of language arts and mathematics.

The notion of what being proficient in English actually entails as ...

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