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Classroom Assessment in Multiple Languages

Classroom Assessment in Multiple Languages
A Handbook for Educators

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January 2021 | 264 pages | Corwin

What if multilingual learners had the freedom to interact in more than one language with their peers during classroom assessment? What if multilingual learners and their teachers in dual language settings had opportunities to use assessment data in multiple languages to make decisions? Just imagine the rich linguistic, academic, and cultural reservoirs we could tap as we determine what our multilingual learners know and can do.

Thankfully, Margo Gottlieb is here to provide concrete and actionable guidance on how to create assessment systems that enable understanding of the whole student, not just that fraction of the student who is only visible as an English learner. With Classroom Assessment in Multiple Languages as your guide, you’ll:

  • Better understand the rationale for and evidence on the value and advantages of classroom assessment in multiple languages
  • Add to your toolkit of classroom assessment practices in one or multiple languages
  • Be more precise and effective in your assessment of multilingual learners by embedding assessment as, for, and of learning into your instructional repertoire
  •  Recognize how social-emotional, content, and language learning are all tied to classroom assessment
  • Guide multilingual learners in having voice and choice in the assessment process

Despite the urgent need, assessment for multilingual learners is generally tucked into a remote chapter, if touched upon at all in a book; the number of resources narrows even more when multiple languages are brought into play. Here at last is that single resource on how educators and multilingual learners can mutually value languages and cultures in instruction and assessment throughout the school day and over time. We encourage you to get started right away.


“Margo Gottlieb has demonstrated why the field, particularly the field as it involves the teaching of multilingual learners, needs another assessment book, particularly a book like this. . . . Classroom Assessment in Multiple Languages quite likely could serve as a catalyst toward the beginning of an enlightened discourse around assessment that will benefit multilingual learners.”

~Kathy Escamilla

Chapter 1: Who are Multilingual Learners and Why Assess in Multiple Languages?
Chapter 2: Who are Multilingual Learners and Why Assess in Multiple Languages?
Chapter 3: Planning Classroom Assessment in Multiple Languages
Chapter 4: Collecting & Organizing Assessment Information in Multiple Languages
Chapter 5: Interpreting Information and Providing Feedback in Multiple Languages
Chapter 6: Evaluating and Reporting Assessment Information in Multiple Languages
Chapter 7: Taking Action Based on Assessment Results in Multiple Languages


"At long last, a book on K-12 assessment that takes an honest and comprehensive look at how the assessment needs of multilingual learners differ from those of monolingual learners. Gottlieb, building on a lifetime of wisdom regarding assessment for language learners, provides insightful, practical, and accessible advice for teachers and school leaders. She shares an abundance of tools and resources for putting responsibility for learning and reflection into the hands of teachers and school leaders and, most importantly, into the hands of the multilingual students themselves. This is no ordinary book of K-12 assessment practices; Gottlieb’s book exudes affirmation, respect, and value for our multilingual learners. This is social justice in practice."

Lisa Tabaku, Director, Global Languages and Cultures
Center for Applied Linguistics

"At its core, Classroom Assessment in Multiple Languages: Engaging Educators, English Learners, and Other Multilingual Learners puts forth a vision of assessment for multilingual learners that is collaborative, inclusive, and most importantly equitable. Dr. Gottlieb not only presents a comprehensive guide to align assessment, curriculum and instruction but her vision of this process honors the voices, as well as the linguistic and cultural assets that students bring to learning. The ESPEJO Curriculum Model, with its ‘mirrored’ cultural and linguistic curricular components, is a powerful example of this inclusive and respectful approach that creates a fully reflective portrait of the 'student as curriculum.'"

John F. Hilliard, President & Founder
Paridad Education Consulting

"When I first started working with complete beginners for the first time, I taught in English, interacted in English, assessed in English, and provided feedback in English. No wonder my students struggled so much in my class. I wish I had this guide to help me rethink how I assess language learners who are literate in their home language. Margo has been leading our field for decades now, and with this work she continues to help us shift our thinking about how we assess with an asset-based approach. Like her extensive body of work, this book adds the equity piece when assessing language learners."

Tan Huynh, Social Studies & EAL Teacher

"There are strong cultural, academic, and linguistic arguments for a pluralistic approach to working with bi/multilingual learners. While such an approach has been conceptualized by many for curriculum and pedagogy, the domain of assessment has proven to be more difficult. In this book, Margo Gottlieb addresses this gap in the field from a theoretical and practical perspective. She challenges all educators, including those who consider themselves monolingual or may speak languages other than those of their students, to approach assessment through a multilingual lens. The book uncovers common myths about multilingual assessment and provides practical strategies for educators to ensure fair and valid assessments for multilingual learners. A great resource for teachers and teacher educators."

Ester de Jong, Professor, ESOL/Bilingual Education
University of Florida, College of Education

"This book is a powerful and very needed resource in today’s multilingual learning spaces. Gottlieb demonstrates the importance of maintaining an asset-based lens while empowering educators to continue to fight for equity. This resource is unlike other professional books about assessment as it offers multidimensionality as we've never seen it- by leveraging our student's linguistic assets and using assessment for, of, and as learning. This book features deeply reflective questions to help you as an educator, as well as instructional teams and administrative leadership, to grow and develop culturally and linguistically responsive and asset-based pedagogy. This is a must-read for today’s empowered educator and change agent!"

Carly Spina, District EL/Bilingual Instructional Coach
Glenview School District 34

"Margo Gottlieb’s Assessing Learning in Multiple Languages is a relevant and responsive book that challenges the monolingual bias of assessment in the United States. Full of scenarios and dispelling of myths, Gottlieb provides both theoretical underpinnings and practical strategies for multilingual assessment, which allows educators to be agents of assessment change in their own contexts. The book’s focus on social justice and equity for multilingual learners comes at a time when bilingual programs are growing in the United States, while there is a similar growing need for assets-based multilingual assessments that honor what students do know and are able to do in their mother tongues."

Ivannia Soto, Professor of Education & Child Development
Whittier College, Department of Education & Child Development

"Colleague Margo Gottlieb shows us what can be done when we truly challenge our monolingual biases in favor of creating schools where the multilingual identities of our richly diverse student and family communities are truly honored and valued. She adeptly moves us away from measuring students’ successes and failures based on their performance on high stakes tests to assessing the uniqueness of their strengths and capacities as they engage in classroom-based projects, performances, and products. Whether we teach in-person, remotely or both, this timely book should be the go-to source of responsive assessment practices for a multilingual world."

Debbie Zacarian, Ed.D., Founder
Zacarian and Associates

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