, 2019
Outside Agencies District Employees
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P R O G R A M     G O A L S

We are committed to providing valid and reliable assessment tools!

  • Provide to our clients a prompt and reliable assessment of their candidates’ ability to speak, read and write in a second language
  • Continually review and improve the content of tests
  • Develop and maintain a pool of reliable raters for all languages

O U R     M I S S I O N S

The teachers, administrators, and staff of the Los Angeles Unified School District believe in the equal worth and dignity of all the students and are more committed than ever to educating students to their maximum potential.

Primary Mission:
The Bilingual Testing Program is dedicated to assessing the language skills of LAUSD's bilingual employees by providing valid and reliable testing services in a timely manner. The program ensures that students and parents who need assistance communicating are provided with dependable and accurate translation and interpreting services.
Secondary Mission:
The Bilingual Testing Program is also committed to offering services to agencies outside the District who need to conduct a reliable assessment of their potential or current employee’s bilingual proficiency. Any and all compensation obtained from providing services to external customers will be used to fund the operation of the program and to enhance the effectiveness of the language assessment tools.

T E S T     D E V E L O P M E N T     M E T H O D O L O G Y

Step 1: Use of bilingual skills assessment
A survey examining the use of bilingual skills at the workplace was administered to a diverse group of individuals throughout a variety of organizations including LAUSD, Sonoma County and City of Houston. The survey collected information regarding percentage of time using bilingual skills, translation contents, samples of translations, difficult words/concepts encountered, criteria of good translations, and candidate reactions to bilingual tests.

Step 2: Survey Analysis
Analysis of the survey indicated that the bilingual skills are mostly used in job-specific situations, including a variety of content domains. It was also identified that bilingual skills are required to provide information regarding directions to a location, mailing addresses, business hours, and phone numbers. In order to avoid the risk of testing for too specific information that could be learned during orientation or training, a set of generic oral and written tests covering a large range of content domains were developed.

Step 3: Test Development
Oral Test
A role-play script that centers on a fictional country was developed. An inquirer, who only speaks a non-English language, calls an information officer, who speaks only English, to gather information about that country. Candidates assume the role of an interpreter who translates the conversation. Content domains of the conversation include: travel, transportation, sightseeing, food, immigration, major industrial, family members, educational systems, health care, bank services, occupations, documentation, disability, customs and culture, business hours, directions, telephone numbers and mailing addresses.

Reading and Writing Test
Based on survey results, the most frequent written translations were performed on announcements (30%) and applications (16%). Based on this information, an announcement written in the non-English language and an application form written in the English language were developed. Candidates must translate from one language to the other. Content domains include demographic information, time, objects, activities, measurement, color, and information release.

The written text was first developed in English then translated into another language by a subject matter expert (SME). The product of this first SME was then presented to a different SME who then translated the text back into English (re-translation). This English product was compared with the original English script to evaluate translation accuracy.

Step 4: Pilot Testing
Both forms, oral and written, were administered to a minimum of 50 subjects. The oral script consists of short, complete sentences with few exceptions such as telephone numbers. Each sentence can be assessed at three levels (fail, acceptable passing, and excellent). Because of this structure, item analysis techniques commonly used to evaluate multiple-choice tests were applied. Quantitative data ensures that forms are parallel.