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English Learner Supports for ACT Aspire

aspire logoAccommodations and supports are practices and procedures that provide equitable access to grade-level content. They are intended to reduce or eliminate the effects of a student’s disability or level of language acquisition; they do not reduce learning expectations. The accommodations or supports provided to a student must be consistent with classroom instruction, classroom assessments, and district and state assessments. It is important to note that while some accommodations or supports may be appropriate for instructional use, they may not be appropriate for use on a standardized assessment because of what the test is intending to measure. 

Overview

  • The following accessibility supports are available to EL students (in addition to the default embedded system tools and open access tools available to all users):
    • Translated test directions for all subjects
    • Word-to-word dictionaries for math, science, and writing sections
    • Text-to-Speech (Spanish audio) item translation
    • Extra time
  • All student responses must be in English (p. 40 of the ACT Aspire Accessibility User’s Guide).
  • Translation of test items is not permitted.
  • Please see the ACT Aspire Accessibility User’s Guide for information.
  • The ACT Aspire accessibility system defines four levels of support. (See the ACT Aspire Accessibility User’s Guide pp. 3-5 for details.)

Translated Test Directions

  • All subject areas.
  • Spanish language test directions for the online summative test are available in digital audio.
  • English test directions may be translated locally into languages other than Spanish; however, all locally provided translation of directions must be prepared in writing ahead of time and based precisely as possible on the standard English directions.
  • Translation on-the-fly is not permitted.

    Word to Word Dictionary

    • Mathematics, Science and Writing tests only.
    • Word-to-word dictionaries may not be used during the Reading or English tests.
    • Only ACT-approved non-electronic bilingual word-to-word dictionaries are allowed.
    • Extra time is strongly recommended with this support but it is not automatically assigned in the portal. Extra time must be manually selected in the PNP. Students are not required to site for the entire extended time period.

    Text-to-Speech (Spanish Audio) item translation

    • Mathematics, Science and Writing tests only.
    • Items presented in North American Spanish language test with Spanish audio read-aloud option.
    • Writing prompt presented in English and Spanish text side-by-side on screen.
    • All student responses must be in English.
    • Includes 300% extra time automatically. Students are not required to sit for the entire extended time period.
    • Complete an audio check prior to starting the test.

    ELA Exemption for Recently Arrived ELs

    From DPI ACT FAQs:

    Q. What content areas are English language learners (ELLs) required to take under federal regulations?

    A. ESEA requires that all students participate in statewide assessment to be used for accountability. Federal regulations provide some flexibility related to the assessment and accountability for recently arrived ELL students only (See 34 CFR § 200.6 (b) (4)).

    Districts will need to first determine if the student has recently arrived in the United States before making assessment and accountability decisions. Recently arrived refers to a student that has attended a U.S. school for less than 12 months and has a language proficiency level of 1 or 2 as determined by ACCESS for ELLs®.

    A recently arrived ELL may be exempt from one required administration of the state’s English Language Arts assessment. If the student does not participate in the ELA assessment, he or she must participate in ACCESS for ELLS. Recently arrived students must participate in all other content areas, with or without accommodations. Students in a school or district for less than a full academic year (FAY) are counted for test participation only; their assessment results are not factored into school or district report cards.

    Q. How are recently arrived ELL students included in accountability calculations if they take the ELA exemption?

    A. If the student does not participate in the ELA assessment, he or she must participate in ACCESS for ELLs®. Recently arrived students must participate in all other content areas, with or without accommodations. Students in district for less than a full academic year (FAY) are counted for test participation only; their assessment results are not factored into school or district report cards.