One thing that many teachers struggle with is how to assign grades to the work that their ESL and LEP (Limited English Proficient) students do. They feel that because the student is completing modified work or working under testing accommodations, that it is unfair to give these students the same high grades that other students receive.
This is not the case. At the start, the playing field is not level for all students; as educators, we are aware of this. The modifications and accommodations are designed to level the playing field so that all students can be equally successful. If your student does stellar work on modified assignments, this means he or she should earn an A. Just because a student is getting A's on modified assignments, doesn't mean he or she doesn't need the modifications anymore.
Here are some guidelines, based on the federal laws, for grading your ESL and LEP students:
- Students should not receive grades of “D” or “F” based on lack of English proficiency. LEP students should not receive grades of D or F unless their lack of performance on modified instruction warrants such grades, for example…not completing modified assignments/homework, not turning in modified assignments/homework, not making satisfactory progress on modified work.
- LEP students will receive report card grades based on their work, modified as necessary in the regular classroom.
- Classroom teachers should modify instruction, assignments, and tests based on students’ English language proficiencies. The use of instructional accommodations and modifications does not indicate that a student cannot receive the highest grade in the content area.
- Testing accommodations should be given to all LEP students for every classroom test given. For a list of testing accommodations, see the ESL teachers or the LEP committee at your school.
- LEP students may receive language accommodations in the classroom while being instructed with the Standard Course of Study (state standards) on grade level. These students have the ability to receive the highest grade attainable in the content area with use of language accommodations based on the student’s proficiency level.
- Classroom teachers are required to maintain open communication with ESL teachers regarding appropriate expectations and assessment of ESL students.