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Laura,

At my institution, a community college, we do not have an ESL program,
but we have offered a couple of ESL courses.

We have a fair number of non native speakers who take our placement test
COMPASS (all students must take the placement test), and if a nonnative
speaker scores into the lowest Developmental English course, we urge the
student to take the ESL test within COMPASS.  Based on the ESL test
score, we will recommend the ESL Developmental course or the regular
Developmental English.

Now, how do we know if the student is a nonnative speaker?  We ask this
question in the battery of background questions all students respond to
as they start the regular COMPASS test.

Clearly, the language background question has to be asked somewhere
along the way.  Once the student leaves testing and goes to advising,
the advisor who sees placement into the lowest developmental class and
the response to the language background question advises the student to
take the ESL part of the test.  This is not the perfect approach,
obviously, since the student has to test twice.  Since we have not had
to use this system very much lately, we have not yet considered
alternative approaches.

The approaches others use will be informative to us.  So glad the
question has come up!

Jeanne




-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laura Symons
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 9:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: ESL COMPASS

Hello Folks,

I have an urgent question about placement testing.  We are beginning an
=
ESL program and need to be giving the COMPASS ESL placement to the =
appropriate students.  Every student (who hasn't taken SAT's) takes a =
placement test with us.  Up until now it was the same test for everyone.
=
 Now we have to discern which of the students need ESL and which need =
the regular test. If there's anyone on the list who has a similar =
situation, could you tell me what you do?  I assume we are going to have
=
to ask addition questions of each student who comes in for placement =
test.  Of course, the vice president wants a report of the new =
procedures by 9:00 am Monday :-)

If you want to reply off list, my email is [log in to unmask] Thanks for
=
whatever advice you can give me.=20

Laura Symons

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