Montana ESL Updates

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2014-20152015-2016


2015-2016

May 2016

May16

Educator's Guide to Immigration
ELL Spring Meeting 2016 Resources


2014-2015

September 2014January 2015
March 2015 May 2015

May15

Directors,

As predicted in our director meeting this week, ESL assessment  is an unpredictable as the rest of our world right now.

Per the email below, Best Plus 2.0 will not be released in July, 2015.  Order Best Plus material if needed.

I will share updates as received.

Margaret

Margaret Bowles
Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director
Office of Public Instruction
Box 202501
Helena MT 59620-2501
(406) 444-4443

From: BEST-PLUS [mailto:best-plus@cal.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 9:29 AM
To: Bowles, Margaret
Subject: Current BEST Plus test remains available for purchase and use

To ensure that programs have the testing resources they need, and in consultation with OCTAE, CAL will continue to sell the current BEST Plus test, which is authorized by OCTAE for use through June 30, 2016.

As a result of this change, CAL will not be launching BEST Plus 2.0 on July 1, 2015. Once the notice of BEST Plus 2.0 approval is published in the Federal Register, CAL will begin the transition to BEST Plus 2.0. We will work closely with programs to make this transition as easy as possible.

We will continue to communicate and share information with you as we move forward. We will hold webinars in May and June to provide information about use of the current BEST Plus and about BEST Plus 2.0.
Webinar sign up information is posted on our website.

As always, we encourage you to
visit our website or to contact CAL with any questions you may have.

CAL remains committed to serving the needs of programs working with adult English learners and to being your trusted testing partner, now and for many years to come.

Best regards,

Daniel Lieberson

Director, Product and Service Operations
Center for Applied Linguistics

Note: CAL respects your privacy. If you do not wish to receive electronic messages in the future, please let us know at aea@cal.org.
Center for Applied Linguistics, 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016 www.cal.org


March15

BEST Plus changes will be in MABLE by July 1, 2015.

We will discuss the changes, and the addition of Best Literacy at our next  at our ESOL meeting in May.

Thanks,

Margaret

From: BEST-PLUS [mailto:best-plus@cal.org]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 11:52 AM
To: Bowles, Margaret
Subject: Update on BEST Plus 2.0

Spring is just around the corner and the July 1st launch date of BEST Plus 2.0 is coming fast. We wanted to take a moment to update you about BEST Plus 2.0 and share some information about our enhanced assessment.

As mentioned in our previous emails, CAL submitted information about BEST Plus 2.0 to OCTAE on January 7, 2015. We are excited about the enhancements for BEST Plus and are confident that we will receive a positive response from OCTAE soon. 

BEST Plus 2.0 will be available July 1, 2015. CAL is committed to making the transition to BEST Plus 2.0 as easy as possible. Here is a quick overview:

§  Approximately 40% of the test items have been replaced. The scoring and administration procedures remain the same.

§  Computer-adaptive and print-based versions of the test will continue to be available.

§  The Test Administrator Guide (TAG) will be revised to included updated information, including the new NRS score table.

§  CAL will provide a new TAG and new BEST Plus 2.0 software for each program.

§  Programs will also be able to purchase new TAGs and the additional copies of the BEST Plus 2.0 software at a reduced cost through September 30, 2015.

§  CAL will be creating new pages on the CAL Store for pre-orders of BEST Plus 2.0. We will email you when they are available.

§  Current BEST Plus test administrators will not need to be retrained. New test administrators will still need to be trained by a certified BEST Plus trainer.

Learn more about BEST Plus 2.0

§  Connect with CAL at our TESOL 2015 Exhibitor Session

BEST Plus 2.0 Update from CAL

March 27, 2015 1:00 pm ET

Metro Toronto Convention Centre Room 201B

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

§  Sign up for our BEST Plus 2.0 Webinars

To register, click on the links below.

Monday, April 13, 2015

10:00 – 11:00 am ET

Monday, April 13, 2015

4:00 – 5:00 pm ET

§  Visit the BEST Plus 2.0 Web Page

We will continue to provide updates on the BEST Plus 2.0 web page.  Learn more.

We will be sending a general announcement to programs across the country on March 18. Please feel free to pass along this information in the meantime to those using BEST Plus in your state.

Thank you for your continued support of CAL and our assessments and for the work you do with adult English language learners. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Daniel Lieberson
Director, Product and Service Operations
Center for Applied Linguistics

Note: CAL respects your privacy. If you do not wish to receive electronic messages in the future, please let us know at aea@cal.org.
Center for Applied Linguistics, 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016 www.cal.org

January15

With the end of 2014 approaching, all of us at the Center for Applied Linguistics would like to thank you for your continued support of BEST Plus and BEST Literacy. We value our ongoing collaboration and joint commitment to supporting adult English learners across the country.

We also thought this would be a good time to provide a quick recap on BEST Plus and, as always, we invite you contact us if you have any questions.

BEST Plus Update
As outlined in our previous emails, CAL is pleased to be working closely with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) to create BEST Plus Version 2.0, our first enhanced version of this operational testing program. As part of this plan, we will be providing additional information about BEST Plus 2.0 to OCTAE in January 2015.

Our work on BEST Plus 2.0, which will be available in the program year beginning July 2015, is right on schedule. As a reminder, with BEST Plus 2.0, the basic configuration of the assessment will not change. In this new version, approximately 40% of the test items will be replaced. Computer-adaptive and print-based versions of the test will continue to be available, and the score management software will continue to provide informative score reports for program use. CAL will work closely with all BEST Plus users to help make the transition to BEST Plus 2.0 as easy as possible. We have developed a web page where updates and information will be posted – visit
www.cal.org/aea/bestplus/2.html to learn more.

Programs can continue to use the BEST Plus print-based tests they have on hand during the transition. Your computer-based test administrations will continue to be available for your use. As BEST Plus 2.0 is launched, CAL will work with states and programs to provide the computer-adaptive version of BEST Plus 2.0 and revised test administrator guide at no charge. More information will be available early in 2015.

About BEST Literacy
As a reminder, BEST Literacy, CAL’s assessment for measuring reading and writing proficiency in English, was approved in 2010 by OCTAE for use in the NRS system through 2017. CAL will also work closely with OCTAE on possible future enhancements to this assessment that would be submitted in October 2016.

Thank you for your support
We realize that each state and program must carefully evaluate its assessment options, and we appreciate your support of CAL. We are committed to serving your assessment needs, now and in the future.

Contact CAL
If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us by telephone at our toll-free number 1-866-845-BEST (2378), Monday to Friday, 10 am – 6 pm Eastern Time or via email at aea@cal.org.
 

September14

Update on BEST Plus NRS Score Ranges

We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support of BEST Plus and BEST Literacy and keep you informed about our ongoing plans for BEST Plus.

New BEST Plus NRS Score Ranges Effective July 1, 2015

As we have mentioned in our earlier emails, CAL is working with the Office of Career and Technical Adult Education (OCTAE) to create BEST Plus Version 2.0, which will be available in the program year beginning July 2015.

As part of this ongoing process, new BEST Plus NRS score ranges will go into effect with the launch of BEST Plus 2.0 on July 1, 2015. Until then, you should continue to use the current BEST Plus NRS score ranges as shown in Table of Section III-9 of the BEST Plus Test Administrator Guide (TAG). (For more information about the NRS Educational Functioning Levels, please visit
www.nrsweb.org.)

The table below provides the 2015 NRS score ranges. These new levels are based on the results of Standard Setting Studies that took place at CAL in 2012 and 2013 using experts from the field including state directors, program coordinators, and BEST Plus trainers.

2015 NRS EFLs and BEST Plus Scores

NRS Educational Functioning Level

2015 BEST Plus Sore Range

Current BEST Plus Score Range

Beginning ESL Literacy

88 to 361

88 to 400

Low Beginning ESL

362 to 427

401 to 417

High Beginning ESL

428 to 452

418 to 438

Low Intermediate ESL

453 to 484

439  to 472

High Intermediate ESL

485 to 524

473 to 506

Advanced ESL

525 to 564

507 to 540

Exit criteria from NRS

565 and higher

541 and higher

The current BEST Plus and Student Performance Level score ranges (Table 1, Section III-8 of the TAG) will remain the same.

What do these changes mean for states and programs using BEST Plus?
The changes to the BEST Plus NRS score ranges will affect how you report student outcomes starting July 1, 2015. States and programs will need to update their reporting databases with the new BEST Plus NRS score ranges. For this reason, CAL wanted to provide as much advance notice as possible.

Staying up-to-date with BEST Plus 2.0
In addition to our email updates, CAL has created a web page where we will also post information about BEST Plus 2.0.  

Bookmark our BEST Plus 2.0 web page.


Thank you for your support

We realize that each state and program must carefully evaluate its assessment options, and we appreciate your support of CAL. We are committed to serving your assessment needs, now and in the future.

Contact CAL
If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us by telephone at our toll-free number 1-866-845-BEST (2378), Monday to Friday, 10 am – 6 pm Eastern Time or via email at
aea@cal.org.

Sincerely,

Daniel Lieberson
Director, Product and Service Operations
Center for Applied Linguistics

2013-2014

2012-2013

January May

May

Good Morning ESOL Conference Participants,

I am certain you are all settled back in the classroom, and hopefully reflecting on the conversations and ideas you gleaned from your colleagues last week. To keep the ESOL energy going,  I would like to provide you with the following updates:

 ·        Pilot Sites:  I am happy to announce that Mike Johnson, TABE CLAS-E representative, has agreed to send out pilot packets that would include five tests for each level. I am having pilot material sent to Mike,  Shannon, and Katya. They will be receiving 5 tests of each level, enough material to test 25-50 students.

I am pleased to announce that Billings has joined the pilot.

 ·        Wiki for All:  If you are not an ESOL Wiki Member, Katya is eagerly waiting to add you to the Wiki world. You can email Katya at katya_irish@gfps.k12.mt.us. Please join the Wiki as soon as possible. I will be visiting with Ellen, Jacqueline, and Katya next week to discuss how the Wiki can meet your instructional needs in the coming months.

 ·        Immigration:  Jodi Bard was very appreciate of the time you spent sharing your immigration questions with her. Jodi assures me she has a lot more information to share, so she has already agreed to be on our agenda next year. Don’t hesitate to contact Jodi if you are in need of a presentation in your area.

Please contact me if you have any ESOL questions. It was a pleasure being with you all last week.

Best regards,

 Margaret

January

Dear ESOL Colleagues:

We are amidst an age of ever increasing networking and technological resources!
Please join us in taking small steps to integrate technological resources into our Best Practices for professional development and ESOL instruction! The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) has provided a wonderful new resource that we will be integrating into our ESOL WIKI. It is called the English Language Learners University (ELL_U.) It is a professional development website filled with cuttingvedge resources and PD on ESL instruction. We will be integrating the ELL-U into our ESOL WIKI blog this month. So our first step is to have 100% of our Montana ESOL program teachers register for ELL-U online. Please click the following link right now to register:
http://www.ell-u.org/member/register

Once registered, we will be working with this PD material online through our ESOL WIKI and set monthly themes to explore as a cohort via the WIKI. We are excited about this new federal resource and request that you take two minutes RIGHT NOW to register! : ) Please email Ellen at ellen.guettler@bsd7.org to let her know if you were successful in registering on the ELL-U site. Many thanks!  We will share next steps soon!
Katya, Jacqueline, Ellen

2011-2012

October November 

November

Wiki Invitation

Click here to access the Montana ESL Wiki Invitation.

Theme:  Listening

Click here http://mtlincs-esl.wikispaces.com/ to access the ESOL Professional Development Wiki.

Click here http://mtlincs-esl.blogspot.com/  to access the ESOL Student Blog.

October

ESOL Professional Development Conference Call

Click here for more information.

Click here for the agenda.

Click here for Wiki Demo Directions.

ESOL Professional Wiki

Good Afternoon,

Your wish from last year’s ESL Conference has come true. Replacing Study
Circles is your very own Wiki Website that will include hot topics, links to a monthly theme and instructional activities, as well as a student blog.

In order to help you use this professional development resource, you are invited to a Wiki walk through. After this conference call the website will be available 24 hours a day.

Attached (See above - ESOL Professinoal Development Conference Call) is an invitation for you to join your ESL peers to learn how to glean ideas and strategies and link ESL students across the state with the Wiki site. We will have a conference call on November 3, 3:00 to 4:00 pm and we hope that many of you will be able to join us on the conference call.

Please email me back no later than October 31 so that I can set up enough phone lines for those wish to call in. The call and the monthly discussions will be hosted by Ellen Guettler in Bozeman and Katya Marandino Irish in Great Falls. This will be a great professional development opportunity.

Hope to hear from you all!

Carol

2010-2011

September October November  December January February March April May June

May

Montana ESOL Conference 2011 website now updated

April

Montana ESOL Conference 2011 Website with Agenda and Handouts

Click here to access website. http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/esl/MT_adult_esl_conference_2011.htm

ESOL Conference Survey

Good Morning!

Would you be so kind as to fill out the attached survey in preparation for our ESOL Conference to be held in Helena May 3-4, 2011. 
(Click here for the survey.)

Our presenter, Rosemarie Park, wants to address any burning issues you folks may be having in the field.

Please return the survey to Ellen Guettler in Bozeman by next Thursday,
April 7. Ellen’s email address is ellen.guettler@bsd7.org

Thank you!!!

Carol

March

ESOL Conference

Who:  All ESL teachers invited

When:

May 3:  Pre conference meeting 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Macaroni Grill

May 4:  9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Red Lion

Where:

Macaroni Grill and Red Lion Colonial Hotel

Helena, MT

Other Information:

Sleeping Rooms are blocked at Red Lion under OPI Adult Education, 443-2100.

Sleeping rooms need to be guaranteed by April 3, 2011.

January

MT ESOL Study Circle Continuation

December

MT ESOL Study Circle Continuation

November

MT ESOL Study Circle Continuation

October

MT ESOL Study Circle

September

MT ESOL 2010 Professional Development Tasks Now Posted