ELT well can provide assessments for everyone, whether they speak English as a first or an additional language, and whatever level of English proficiency they have reached.
We might also want to determine whether they have a specific learning difference, and what the nature of this difference might be, e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, AD(H)D, Asperger’s Syndrome, or a combination of these. These SpLDs very often co-occur so it is important to be alert to the possibility of more than one being the cause of any difficulties that a learner is experiencing.
Why have an assessment?
- to apply for exam access arrangements (at any stage of education, for professional exams, or for the ‘Life in the UK’ test);
- to access the Disabled Student Allowance (for students in British HE);
- to implement appropriate reasonable adjustments in the workplace.
It is useful to find out as much as possible about how a learner is working, and to build a picture of their cognitive profile – strengths as well as areas of challenge – so that teachers know how best to support them.