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ELL Community

ELL Testing Accommodations

  • Note:  As long as an LEP student is working productively on an exam, the student may have as much time as he needs. 
  • Time Extension. Schools may extend the test time for LEP students taking Regents Examinations. Principals may use any reasonable extensions, such as "time and a half" (the required testing time plus half that amount), in accordance with their best judgment about the needs of the LEP students. Principals should consult with the student's classroom teacher in making these determinations.
  • Separate Location. Schools are required to provide optimal testing environments and facilities for all students. They may administer examinations to LEP students individually or in small groups in a separate location.
  • Third Reading of Listening Selection. Proctors may read the listening passage (Part A, Session One) of the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English a third time to LEP students. This accommodation is not permitted on State examinations in foreign languages.
  • Bilingual Dictionaries and Glossaries. LEP students may use bilingual dictionaries and glossaries when taking Regents Examinations in all subjects except foreign languages and when taking RCTs in all subjects other than reading and writing. The bilingual dictionaries and glossaries may provide only direct translations of words; definitions or explanations are not permitted. No student may use an English language dictionary when taking any State examination.
  • Simultaneous Use of English and Alternative Language Editions. When taking Regents Examinations for which the Department provides written translations, LEP students may use both an English and an alternative language edition of the test simultaneously. However, they must be instructed to record all of their responses in only one of the two editions. The alternative language edition used by the student should be so indicated on the student's answer sheet. Because the alternative-language editions of the RCTs are not direct translations of the English-language editions, students may not be given both.
  • Oral Translation for Lower-Incidence Languages. Schools may provide LEP students with an oral translation of a Regents Examination or RCT when there is no translated edition provided by the Department. This accommodation is permitted for State examinations in all subjects except English and foreign languages. All translations must be oral, direct translations of the English editions; written translations are not allowed. No clarifications or explanations may be provided. When taking the NLWT or RCTs in Reading and Writing, students whose native language is other than English may not be provided with the services of a translator.
  • Translators may be provided copies of the English edition of the tests no earlier than one hour prior to administration to become familiar with the material. Translators who also serve as proctors must be familiar with the procedures for administering Regents Examinations and RCTs. Principals must take the necessary precautions to ensure that the examinations are properly administered and that the students receiving translation services are not given an unfair advantage. The Department's Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies and the Bilingual/ESL Technical Assistance Centers (BETACs) can assist schools in locating suitable translators.
  • Writing Responses in the Native Language. LEP students making use of alternative language editions or oral translations of Regents Examinations and of RCTs may write their responses to the open-ended questions in their native language. Scoring the tests is the responsibility of the school. However, the Department's Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies and the BETACs can assist schools in locating persons who can translate the students' responses into English to facilitate scoring of the answer papers.