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Language Assessment Battery - English

Test Name: Language Assessment Battery - English
Publisher: New York City Board of Ed. OER
Publication Date: 1982
Test Type: Language Proficiency
Content: 4 Language Skills
Language: English
Target Population: English Language Learner (ELL)
Grade Level: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Administration Time: 61-90 min
Standardized: Yes
Purpose: Identification; Placement; Proficiency; Progress; Program Evaluation

Language Assessment Battery (LAB) is an English language proficiency test for students in grades K through 12, and was developed to correspond to the curriculum of the New York City School System. It is primarily used to identify, for placement purposes, those non-native speakers whose English proficiency is not advanced enough to allow for English to be used as the primary language of instruction. It can also be used to monitor their progress and for program evaluation purposes. The test has four levels: Level I is for students in K-2; Level II is for grades 3-5; Level III is for grades 6-8; and Level IV is for grades 9-12. Each of these levels contains four sections: Speaking, which requires an oral response to an oral or pictorial stimulus; Listening, which requires choosing the correct response to an oral or pictorial stimulus; Reading, which uses a cloze format; and, Writing, which measures language usage, also through the use of a cloze format. Except for the Speaking test, all sections can be administered in groups, with a total test time of two hours. Before grade 3, students enter their responses in test booklets and test administrators later transfer those answers to machine scored answer sheets. Older students record their answers on the answer sheets themselves. Guidelines for scoring Speaking items are in the Examiner's Directions. Test administrators should be native or native-like speakers of English. Student answer sheets can be scored either by hand or by machine, and scores are expressed in terms of percentiles and normal curve equivalents. Short forms of the test are available: the K-2 Short LAB takes about 8 minutes to administer and the 3-12 Short LAB takes about 10 minutes. Norms were established on both English-proficient and limited-English-proficient students, with between 150 and 450 subjects per grade level for each form. KR-20 estimates of reliability range from .88 to .96 on individual subtests and from .95 to .98 on the total test. The validity of the construct of "language proficiency" was shown when test results indicated an increase in test scores as grade level increased. A Spanish version of the test was developed with its own norms and is also available in two forms.

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