Assessing students who have limited English

Assessment of any student who has limited proficiency in spoken or written English is often problematic. But there is evidence that Lucid Recall is much better than many conventional methods of assessment, because of its strongly visual format and minimal reliance on spoken instructions. In order to tackle the Word Recall test the student will need to have had sufficient familiarity with simple English words in their written form and to tackle the test of Digit Recall the student will need to know the digits 1–9 in written form. The practice items enable most students, even those with very little English, to understand the tasks, and where there is uncertainty a teacher or assistant who speaks the student’s mother tongue can help with explaining instructions. It can be seen that these are pretty basic requirements that are unlikely to be a problem for most students for whom English is an additional language (EAL).

For a discussion of working memory in relation to learning a second language, see Juffs and Harrington (2011).