Li, H., & Suen, H. (2012). Are test accommodations for English language learners fair ? Language Assessment Quarterly , 9 (2012), 293–309.

Journal Article

Li, H., & Suen, H. (2012). Are test accommodations for English language learners fair? Language Assessment Quarterly, 9(2012), 293–309.


Sample size not applicable due to design of study (meta-analysis)


Bilingual Dictionary; Bilingual Glossary; English Dictionary; English Glossary; Other Accommodation Type; Other language speakers; Package of Accommodations; Read Aloud in English; Read Aloud in Native Language; Simplified English; Single Accommodation; Spanish Speakers



dictionary, glossary, simplified English, extra time, small-group testing, dual-language booklet, Spanish translation, read aloud in Spanish, visual support


ELLs and non-ELLs using test accommodations spanning grades 3-8, grade 10, and college


Based on a meta-analysis including 21 studies and 151 comparisons the authors identified a grand mean effect size of 0.08. This means on average across studies students (EL and non-EL) scored 0.08 standard deviations better when given accommodations. The effect size for accommodations provided to non-EL’s was small, negative and statistically non-significant. Accommodated EL students had an average score of 0.156 standard deviations above their non-accommodated counterparts. This provides evidence for the both the fairness and effectiveness of accommodations for English learners based on a differential effect argument.