'Language Background Other Than English': a problem NAPLaN test category for Australian students of refugee background

Creagh, Susan (2013) 'Language Background Other Than English': a problem NAPLaN test category for Australian students of refugee background. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 19 2: 252-273. doi:10.1080/13613324.2013.843521

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Author Creagh, Susan
Title 'Language Background Other Than English': a problem NAPLaN test category for Australian students of refugee background
Journal name Race, Ethnicity and Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1361-3324
1470-109X
Publication date 2013-12-16
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13613324.2013.843521
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 19
Issue 2
Start page 252
End page 273
Total pages 22
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Since 2008 Australia has held the National Assessment Program: Literacy and Numeracy (known as NAPLAN) for all students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Despite the multilingual character of the Australian population, these standardized literacy and numeracy tests are built on an assumption of English as a first language competency. The capacity for monitoring the performance of students who speak languages other than English is achieved through the disaggregation of test data using a category labelled Language Background Other than English (LBOTE). A student is classified as LBOTE if they or their parents speak a language other than English at home. The category definition is so broad that the disaggregated national data suggest that LBOTE students are outperforming English speaking students, on most test domains, though the LBOTE category shows greater variance of results. Drawing on Foucault’s theory of governmentality, this article explores the possible implications of LBOTE categorisation for English as a Second Language (ESL) students of refugee background. The article uses a quantitative research project, carried out in Queensland, Australia, to demonstrate the potential inequities resultant from such a poorly constructed data category.
Keyword Categorization
Refugees
Language background other than English
Governmentality
English as a Second Language
NAPLAN
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article in Press. Published online 16 Dec 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Education Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 23 Jan 2014, 11:17:03 EST by Susan Creagh on behalf of School of Social Science