UDL Accommodations: ELL Student

Michelle Meyer

Indiana Wesleyan University 

EDU 545 

Workshop 3.4

  • Background

  • Accommodation I

  • Accommodation II

  • Accommodation III

  • Glossary


Nyunt and her cousin Aye

Nyunt is a six-year-old girl entering 1st grade.  She is the only child to her Burmese parents.  Her family just moved to town as refugees of their native country Myanmar, also known as Burma.  Because Nyunt and her family speak little English, she has limited English proficiency  and is an English Language Learner (ELL).

According to The Knowledge Loom, English language learners  refer to students who have a first (home, primary or native) language other than English and are in the process of learning English.  Salvia state there are at least three factors that can affect the amount of time it takes for a student to attain cognitive and academic sufficiency in English:

  • Age
  • Immersion in English
  • Similarity to English
Nyunt's teacher will be faced with many challenges this year and will need to create and apply a universal design for assessment .  

Principle I: Provide Multiple Means of Representation

Guideline 2: Provide options for language, mathmatical expressions and symbols

It will be important to provide Nyunt with native language accommodations

Checkpoint 2.1: Clarify vocabulary and symbols

  • Pre-teach vocabulary and symbols that will connect words to Nyunt's experience and prior knowledge.

Burmese is not similar to English, so it may be necessary to provide her with a bilingual word list that will allow her to connect words from her first language to new English words.  As her vocabulary grows, she will be able to expand the sheet to her level.  

Checkpoint 2.4: Promote understanding across languages

  • Make all key information in the dominant language (e.g., English) also available in first languages(e.g., Burmese)
  • Provide translation tools

With the help of a interpreter or electronic translation tool, test items should be read aloud in Nyunt's first language.

Principle II: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Guideline 5: Provide options for expression and communication

Checkpoint 5.1: Use multiple media for communication

  • Compose in multiple media such as text, speech, drawing, illustration, comics, storyboards, design, film, music, visual art, sculpture or video

While a translator will be an effective tool in Nyunt learning English, it is important for her to utilize other multimedia to assist in reaching goals set by her teacher.  As Nyunt becomes more comfortable with her second language, perhaps she could be placed in a group to collaborate on a project and allow her to portray some of her ideas through drawing, movement or other written forms.  

Checkpoint 6.3: Facilitate managing information and resources

As Nyunt builds upon her bilingual word list, this will serve as benchmark for her continuing education.  If her teacher finds she is not adding words on her own, it would be important to utilize other assessment tools to see where the current curriculum is failing Nyunt.  


Principle III: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

Guideline 7: Provide options for recruiting interest

Checkpoint 7.1: Optimize individual choice and autonomy

  • Involve learners, where and whenever possible, in setting their own personal academic and behavioral goals

Checkpoint 7.2: Optimize relevance, value and authenticity

Although Nyunt is only six years old, in order to keep her actively engaged, it will be important to listen to her and how she would like to learn and engage in the English language.  It will also be very important to have the parents involved in this process.

Guideline 8: Provide options for sustaining effort and persistence

Checkpoint 8.3: Foster collaboration and communication

  • Encourage and support opportunities for peer interaction and supports (e.g., peer-tutors)

Key Terms

English language learners: An individual who is acquiring the English language and has a non-English primary language

Limited English proficiency: Used to describe an individual who has a native language other than English, such that it affects the individual's ability to learn in an English-speaking classroom

Native language accommodations :A change in a test for an English language learner that involves providing support using a student's native language

Universal design for assessment: The design of assessment programs that involves consideration of the needs of all participants

Important Hyperlinks