How can I Support Multilingual Students with STAAR?

Young boy and girl using computers during lesson in computer class.

Multilingual students can feel overwhelmed when taking a standardized test because English is not their native language. This feeling may impact their confidence and performance on the test. If you are one of the many educators asking yourself, how can I support Multilingual students with STAAR? you are not alone. We will go over some of your most asked questions and provide steps that can help reduce stress and anxiety levels during testing.

Multilingual students can maximize their time and performance during the test by providing classroom opportunities to practice the assessment format. When students are familiar with the format of the assessment, it minimizes their level of anxiety. Therefore, students need to feel comfortable navigating online assessments. It is important to expose them to the different item types they will see on the assessment.

Where should I start?

Follow the next steps to practice using new question types in class:

  • Go to Practice Test Login.
  • Click on the green sign-in button at the bottom after opening the link.
  • Select the grade level.
  • Choose STAAR New Item Types (will provide Reading, Math, and Science in English and Spanish.

What are some classroom strategies that transfer to online assessments?

Multilingual students can highlight, underline, and circle important words while reading. This strategy helps students with comprehension and clarification of what they are reading. During an online assessment, students can use this strategy to identify keywords and understand what is being asked on the test.

Read & Write Logo

Read & Write is a Google Chrome extension that allows students to practice strategies for reading, writing, research, and much more. This Google extension allows students to familiarize themselves with some online resources available for STAAR accommodation. Here are some videos about how to use the read&write app in your everyday classroom activities: EnglishEspaƱol


CommonLit is a free literacy resource with reading lessons, benchmark assessments, and standards-based data for teachers. This is another great tool to incorporate all language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) as it provides paired selections with videos for your classroom. It has academic practices that enhance reading and writing skills. If you would like to integrate CommonLit into Google Classroom, watch this video. Here is a video on how to use Commonlit in your everyday classroom activities: Student Guide

What information is beneficial for elementary educators who want to support Multilingual students?

Teachers can find the Blueprint Breakdowns beneficial for targeted instructions. The table below has the different blueprint breakdowns and provides insight into the construction of STAAR tests. Each breakdown lists the number of questions, possible points, and the number of assessed standards, as well as a snapshot of student expectation performance from the 2023 STAAR test results.

Grade 3Grade 3
Grade 4Grade 4
Grade 5Grade 5Grade 5

What else do educators have to consider for the success of Multilingual students on the STAAR?

Our Multilingual students have to be exposed to expectations, goals, and different strategies throughout the year. 

Educators can promote reading stamina by setting goals and expectations in the classroom from the beginning of the school year. Multilingual students should be exposed to multiple types of genres. Reading stamina is important because it allows students to stay focused and perform better on long tests. In addition,  integrating technology with the academic curriculum allows multilingual students to use technology daily. This approach helps them feel comfortable with technology, and it alleviates the unknown of technology during the STAAR. 

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Yisbeth Puckett
Multilingual Instruction and Education Specialist of Biliteracy
Academic Services

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