Cultural Validity in Assessment: Addressing Linguistic and Cultural Diversity, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cultural Validity in Assessment

Addressing Linguistic and Cultural Diversity, 1st Edition

Edited by María del Rosario Basterra, Elise Trumbull, Guillermo Solano-Flores


320 pages

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What is assessment and how is it a cultural practice? How does failure to account for linguistic and cultural variation among students jeopardize assessment validity? What is required to achieve cultural validity in assessment? This resource for practicing and prospective teachers – as well as others concerned with fair and valid assessment – provides a thorough grounding in relevant theory, research, and practice. The book lays out criteria for culturally valid assessment and recommends specific strategies that teachers can use to design and implement culturally valid classroom assessments.

Assessment plays a powerful role in the process of education in the US and has a disproportionately negative impact on students who do not come from mainstream, middle-class backgrounds. Given the significance of testing in education today, cultural validity in assessment is an urgent issue facing educators. This book is essential reading for addressing this important, relevant topic.

Table of Contents


Eugene García




Cultural Validity in Assessment—Basic Concepts

1. Assessing the Cultural Validity of Assessment Practices: An Introduction-Guillermo Solano-Flores

2. The Role of Language in Assessment- Elise Trumbull and Guillermo Solano-Flores


Assessing Students of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Backgrounds

3. Assessing English Language Learners: Critical Issues- Jamal Abedi

4. Cognition, Culture, Language, and Assessment: How to Select Culturally Valid Assessments in the Classroom- María del Rosario Basterra

5. Using Appropriate Assessment Processes: How to Get Accurate Information about the Academic Knowledge and Skills of English Language Learners – Rebecca Kopriva and Ursula Sexton

6. Ensuring Valid Educational Assessments for ELL Students: Scores, Score Interpretation, and Assessment Uses- Richard P. Durán

7. Promoting Cultural Validity in the Assessment of Bilingual Special Education Students- John J. Hoover and Janette Klingner

8. Overview of Current Federal Policies in Assessment and Accountability and Their Impact on ELL Students- Julia Lara and Magda Chia


Field Efforts to Increase Cultural Validity in Assessment

9. Language Arts: Designing and Using a Reading Assessment for Learners Transitioning to English-Only Instruction- Elise Trumbull and Nanette Koelsch

10. Addressing the Language Demands of Mathematics Assessment: Using a Language Framework and Field Research Findings- Elise Trumbull and Guillermo Solano-Flores

11. Science and Literacy Assessments with English Language Learners- Okhee Lee, Alexandra Santau, and Jaime Maerten-Rivera



12. Reflections on the Promise of Cultural Validity in Assessment- Elise Trumbull, María del Rosario Basterra, and Guillermo Solano-Flores

About the Editors

María del Rosario Basterra is Independent Educational Consultant, Washington, DC, specializing in issues related to English language learners, language minority students, multicultural education, and preschool education.

Elise Trumbull is Independent Educational Consultant, Oakland, CA, specializing in issues related to language and culture in schooling, and Lecturer, California State University, Northridge, Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling.

Guillermo Solano-Flores is Associate Professor, Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language, University of Colorado at Boulder.

About the Series

Language, Culture, and Teaching Series

This series of texts for undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher education courses focuses on the intersections of language, culture, and teaching – specifically on how language and culture inform classroom practice. Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts in the growing range of courses that address issues such as, but not limited to, foundations of multicultural education; multicultural children’s literature; teaching diverse populations; foundations of bilingual education; teaching English as a second language; and sociocultural issues in teaching.

The primary objectives of the series are to challenge traditional biases about diversity and about students of diverse languages and cultures, and to reframe the conventional idea of the textbook by envisioning classroom practice as critical, creative, and liberatory.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Testing & Measurement