We Need YOU to be a BEST Plus tester!

April 1, 2013 at 5:00 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ImageOn Saturday, April 6, you can become a Student Assessment Specialist with LCNV! This free training, sponsored by the State of Virginia, will be held right here at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, and is only conducted twice per year – so now is your chance to be trained to help our adult learners!

Adult education providers commonly use standardized tests like the TABE, CASAS, and BEST Plus assessments. Here at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, we use BEST Plus for our classes. From a program standpoint, we can track learners’ progress and meet state and federal reporting requirements by using BEST Plus.

What is BEST Plus?

The test assesses oral (speaking and listening) proficiency only. As LCNV takes a lifeskills-based approach to instruction, helping adults build their English to participate and thrive in the community, BEST Plus is well-suited to testing our learners’ improving communication skills.

Why is BEST Plus important for LCNV classes and learners?

LCNV uses the BEST Plus test when registering students for ESOL classes to ensure that our classes are the right fit for helping them achieve their goals and to ensure that we place them in the appropriate level of the class. This means that in the fall 2012 semester, we needed LCNV staff and volunteers to test and register 426 learners!

We also use the BEST Plus to measure each learner’s progress at the end of each semester. The State’s standard is that after 60 hours of instruction, a learner should be able to advance his or her educational functioning level. At the end of the fall 2012 semester, we tested 210 learners who met this requirement, and 159 (or 76%) improved! The test also helps us decide when to graduate a student from our program. When a student graduates out of LCNV’s classes, it means that he or she is ready to move on to intermediate and advanced English classes. Last semester more than 20 beginning level learners graduated from LCNV! Many of them are now taking intermediate and advanced classes at Fairfax County Public Schools Adult and Community Education.

Supporting our learners in these ways would not be possible without the help of staff and trained volunteer testers. I hope that you’ll consider signing up for the training! Please contact our Director of Volunteers, Ruba Afzal at volunteers@lcnv.org, or our Programs and Trainings Administrator, Katie Beckman at kbeckman@lcnv.org, no later than Wednesday, April 3 to register. We look forward to working with you!

Xavier Muñoz, AmeriCorps Instructor
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042
www.lcnv.org

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