Testing SEND and EAL students

SEND accommodations

Assessing students with coordination difficulties

Students with coordination difficulties may experience problems in using a mouse, or even a touchscreen device. In some cases, an adapted mouse device may need to be used when assessing disabled students. Alternatively, testing on a tablet (where the response utilises the touchscreen) may be preferable. Slowness or difficulty in using the mouse or touchscreen should not make any significant difference to a student’s performance on LASS 8-11. Thus, even if a student is totally inexperienced with using a mouse or touchscreen and is consequently very slow, the LASS 8-11 scores will still be a valid measure of their performance.

Please see the User Manual in the Downloads section for further guidance.

Assessing students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are liable to experience difficulties with many types of assessment, however LASS 8–11 tests are typically found to be more stimulating than conventional tests, so students with ADHD will generally remain engaged and attentive for longer than might be expected. It is recommended that only one test per session should be administered to students with ADHD, and particular care should be taken when administering the Sea creatures subtest.

Please see the User Manual in the Downloads section for further guidance.

Testing EAL students

LASS 8-11 is less problematic than many conventional methods of assessment when it comes to assessing students with limited proficiency in spoken English, due to its strongly visual format and minimal reliance on spoken instructions. The practice items enable most students, even those with very little English, to understand the task, and where there is uncertainty a teacher or assistant who speaks the student’s first language can help with explaining instructions.

Case studies of two students for whom English is an additional language (EAL) are given in the Case studies section of the User Manual, available in the Downloads section. Like most students with limited English, these students responded well to the assessment and extremely valuable information was obtained.

It may be found that EAL students gain low scores on some of the LASS 8-11 subtests (particularly those assessing literacy and phonological skills), which reflects their lack of experience with English. However, on the memory and non-verbal reasoning subtests in LASS, scores will normally reflect their true abilities because these are largely unaffected by language factors (provided the student is comfortable with the digits 1-9 in spoken and written form in order to attempt Mobile phone).