Action Plan to help ESL Individuals Pass the ASWB ExamIntroductionAccording to recent reports revealed on the pass rate of ASWB exam, the incident has raised a major concern as to why most of the people of color diverse masters graduates registered the lowest pass rate particularly those with English as the second language (Abedi, 2014). Surprisingly, the same report showed that the majority of the students pursuing social work education have had it impossible to successfully complete the course to have their social work licensed because they have failed in ASWB exams. Every individual undertaking legal practice of LCSW is required to undertake ASWB exam. Amazing, most of the ESL individuals who graduated with a Masters of Social Work degree have had all their hardwork in vain due to difficulty in passing the ASWB exam.
Moreover, Social workers believed to have refugee backgrounds and immigrants have found it difficult despite their struggle to pass the ASWB exam (Fraser, 2011). Consequently, we have seen the majority of them blocked from access the opportunity to practice their Social Work career.By design, it would be tempting to conclude that perhaps the exam was designed with Nonnon-native English speakers in mind. There have been discussions and debates on how best this problem of failing in ASWB could be addressed. This paper, therefore, seeks to assess the engagements and explore the possible action plan that would help ESL Individuals Pass the ASWB Exam.Engagement and Project DefinitionAccording to Robinson-Cimpian & Thompson & Umansky (2016), the current professional environment of social workers demands that for an individual to obtain licensure to be professional, the person must pass ASWB exam.
This became a law when European monarchs felt it wise to regulate practices of some particular line of work. The intention was to restore professional legitimacy, competency, and satisfaction. According to the recent report from Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the body offers exams in four different levels and regardless of the level; the only way to obtain social work licensure is bypassing ASWB exam.
Based on the problem experienced by the majority of the ESL individuals, the project report finds a proper ground to establish the best actions that could provide a solution to the menace.Assessment with Stakeholders and ReviewConsidering the importance attached to this exam and the rate at which ESL students fail in this exam, the question of how best to prepare for this exam and the validity of the exam have been the major concern from the stakeholders. According to the data earlier provided by Education Commission of the States (ECS) in 2017 established on the 2014 statistics of Utah, the ELL student was found to be about 5.9% of the study population. The state initiated a program known as “the at-risk program” which enabled each of the ELL students to qualify for the special funding, which was never part of the primary funding plan. With much surprise, general classroom teacher was never allowed to undertake an ELL training. It’s worth noting that the state never availed the state seal of bi-literacy even after adopting the English Language development standards as required by WIDA. The demographic data in Utah include; Asians, American Indians, Blacks, and Pacific Islanders (that represented minority at 6.
4%) ,Germans, Hispanic, Danish, Scottish, Swedish, Irish, and Italians (represented the majority at 45.2%), Bosnia, France, Sudan, Venezuela, Russia (12.6%), and English and Americans (35.
8%). It is presumed that perhaps it is these diverse cultures that could be making reading, writing and the general speaking of English language difficult thus denying the majority of ESL students the opportunity to effectively in the classroom environment where the instructions are provided purely in English. Moving forward, realistic and applicable solutions must be established to help ESL individuals pass the ASWB exam. This must be inconsistent with a design that seeks to help the individuals and not necessarily what the UNP agency purports. An initiative and plan aimed at helping ESL individuals should be a matter of priority to eventually change the trend of consistent failure in the exam. The following initiatives and action plan in form of models and approaches are engineered towards ensuring that ESL Individuals are assisted to pass their ASWB Exam.Model and ApproachesMost importantly, the creation of effective and well-balanced study groups gives a profound element of improvement in learning the English language by the ESL individuals thus placing them on a better path of excellence as far as passing the ASWB licensing exam is concerned. In that regard, there is a collective call for sensitivity among the members to recognize some possible difficulties that are likely to be faced by English Language Learners.
To achieve this, the concept of incorporating practical-based learning should be embraced to foster enhanced understanding required for the exam among the ESL individuals. Learning aids such as print sources, audios as well as videos need to be incorporated into translations. An individual study group needs to implement a comprehensively developed English Language Learner Plan. The plan should not only incorporate ESOL teacher and reading specialist but also a social worker. The teachers involved are expected to have undergone a proper training on the appropriate techniques and styles that would lead to the efficient and effective teaching of the ESL individuals. The submission of Broomes (2010) further validated the idea by emphasizing the need for effective teaching styles. Admittedly, teachers find it a difficult exercise to accommodate the needs of the ESL individuals due to diversity attached to s the native languages of the ESL individuals. Some of these languages range from Hispanic to Spanish and as such, thus making it a challenge for the teachers to inclusively incorporate the styles and the techniques.
It is also important to recognize the fact that learning process is progressive by nature and greatly depend on curriculum to ease the understanding of English Language by the ESL individuals. It is also recommended for the study groups to establish auditory programs while being guided by the National Council of Teacher of English and the International Reading Association of English Language Arts Standards so as to realize an improvement in oratory skills. Implementation of the oratory programs is believed to go a long way in helping the individuals to know how best to deal with the pronunciation of words apart from building their vocabulary. The end result would be a motivated individual with highly boosted confidence that encourages and promote communication among the peers in the English language.Proposed ActionTo make the ASWB exam meet the needs of the individuals undertaking the exam, it would be imperatively in order for the Education Commission of the States to intervene and address the validity question by changing the wording as well as the format of the ASWB exam so as to cover the cultural diversification of those being examined. During In formatting of the exam, the examiners need to take into consideration the diversity of cultural differences and language barriers (Robinson-Cimpian & Thompson & Umansky, 2016). The word and format of the exam should be well structured to eliminate any sense of ambiguity by making it precise and simple.
This could also mean reworded ASWB exam to provide a fair opportunity to ESL candidates. According to Robison (2016), it could be better to have that exam administered in different languages that are familiar with the ESL individuals. To address the looming language barrier and the difficulty of learning English within the setup study groups, it is imperatively necessary for the members to adjust the means of imparting knowledge and comprehension of important concepts and instructions by deploying some diverse techniques and styles. It would be a fair strategy to have an oral-based exam to cater for those with the inability of understanding written English. Wang and Liao emphasize the need to first establish the underlying strengths and weaknesses of the ESL students to expedite the learning processes. Remember, some might be better in oral skills if not written skills.
Setting the individuals in the right path to success may call for the members of the study group to identify and maximize the strengths of these ESL students with the ultimate aim of improving learning and understanding for the sake of passing their exams (Wang & Liao, 2011).The exam evaluation process should aim at testing the understanding and application level of learned concepts, challenges, and principles rather than focusing on understanding the English language. Making the ASWB exam available online in different languages would also serve best the individuals (Abedi, 2014).
In addition, digitalization has provided numerous opportunities and ways for operative evaluation. This explains why the idea of making the ASWB exam exist in various native languages could be one of the best in the interest of the ESL individuals. Besides, the ESL individuals can also be given two extra hours to sit for the ASWB exam, but the success of such is still largely dependent on the language of the exam (Fraser, 2011).