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Tests, Achievement, and Bilingual Students [microform] / Jim Cummins
Bib ID 5434989
Format BookBook, MicroformMicroform, OnlineOnline
Cummins, Jim
Online Versions
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1982 
9 p. 

Although most educators agree in theory that labeling linguistically and culturally different students as "low I.Q." can adversely affect their academic progress, in practice a disproportionate number of bilingual students are still being "deported" into special education and vocational classes as a combined result of indiscriminate use of mental tests and cultural and linguistic orientation of school programs. Teachers and psychologists commonly assume that minority language students have become "language proficient" when they have acquired peer-appropriate fluency in everyday communication. The dangers of such assumptions can be seen in a study in which the psychological assessments of over 400 minority language students were analyzed. Two continua (context-embedded and context-reduced language proficiency) were used to show the relationship between language proficiency and academic achievement. Research suggests that the acquisition of meaning in context-reduced classroom situations requires more knowledge of the language itself than is typically required in context-embedded face-to-face situations. By eliminating "lack of English proficiency" as an explanation for low achievement in bilingual students, educators risk creating academic deficits by attributing low academic performance or test scores to deficiencies in the student or in his or her background experiences. (LH)


Sponsoring Agency: Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (ED), Washington, DC.

Sponsoring Agency: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.

Contract Number: 400-80-0040.

Educational level discussed: Elementary Secondary Education.





FOCUS, n9 Feb 1982.

May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Academic Achievement.  |  Academic Failure.  |  Bilingual Education.  |  Bilingual Students.  |  Educational Research.  |  Elementary Secondary Education.  |  English (Second Language)  |  Language Proficiency.  |  Low Achievement.  |  Psychometrics.  |  Test Bias.  |  Test Interpretation.  |  Test Use.  |  Testing.  |  PF Project
Form/genre Guides, Non-Classroom.  |  Reports, Descriptive.
Other authors/contributors National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, Rosslyn, VA
Available From ERIC 


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