Representation of Students with Special Educational Needs in Language Testing Research

Volume 7 Issue 3
Taylor Hallenbeck Rashed Fehaid Alqahtani
Pages: 124-132 Download Count : 991 View Count: 1285 DOI Number 10.24331/ijere.1053605 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley


The presence of students identified as English Language Learners (ELL) and Special Education Students (SES) in mainstream settings is growing. However, representation of these populations within language testing research remains unknown. This is important because language testing scores are increasingly used to evaluate student learning, teacher quality, and school quality. This meta-synthesis examined the representation of these two exceptional populations within the mainstream language testing literature published in two language testing journals. This meta-synthesis utilized inductive analysis and descriptive statistics. Findings indicated highly skewed representations of ELL and SES within the research corpus of the reviewed journals. Further analysis of participant demographics, research settings, test formats and test modalities are reported and discussed. Results highlight critical needs for the fields of exceptional education regarding the language testing of ELL and SES populations. The paper closes with suggestions regarding such needed research


  • Meta-synthesis
  • exceptional students
  • language testing
  • accommodations
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