The purposes of the SSHRC-funded study are of three folds: 1) examine ESL/ELD students’ OSSLT performance; 2) investigate the potential influence of OSSLT on the learning of this group of students; and 3) explore the factors that contribute to or impede ESL/ELD students’ OSSLT performance and their academic success in Ontario secondary schools. The study was undertaken over two phases. The first phase investigated the characteristics of the OSSLT and test-takers’ OSSLT performance by analyzing the results of the OSSLT and EQAO-Student Questionnaire (EQAO-SQ) by comparing ESL/ELD with non-ESL/ELD students (n=8000). Only by examining both groups can the nature of OSSLT challenges specific to ESL/ELD students be fully understood. The second phase investigated the impact of OSSLT on ESL/ELD student academic learning in schools through three interrelated research strategies of tracking, focus groups and a questionnaire survey over a three-year period. This phase was conducted in three school boards in Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto, where there have been increasing numbers of ESL/ELD students and involved more than 600 ESL/ELD and non ESL/ELD students. Taken together, the results provide an in-depth comprehensive view of the impact of OSSLT on ESL/ELD students. The findings also provide information on features of their academic learning and be of potential benefit to them by identifying those ESL/ELD students most at risk of failure.
Lead Investigator: Dr. Lying Cheng
Cheng, L., & Sun, Y. (2015). Interpreting the impact of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test on second language students within argument-based validation framework. Language Assessment Quarterly, 12,50–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2014.981334
Cheng. L., Fox, J., & Zheng, Y. (2007). Student accounts of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test: A case for validation. Canadian Modern Language Review, 64, 69-98.
Fox, J., & Cheng, L. (2007). Did we take the same test? Differing accounts of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test by first and second language test takers. Assessment in Education, 14, 9-26.
Cheng, L., Klinger, D., & Zheng, Y. (2007). The challenges of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test for second language students. Language Testing, 24(2), 185-208.