Items on math assessments often include complex language that is not related to math content. English language learners (ELLs) are still acquiring proficiency in English, so the linguistic complexity of items is particularly troublesome for this group. Language demand on items can lead to lower scores for ELLs than their non-ELL peers. The present paper examines math items for evidence of differential item functioning (DIF) against ELLs using logistic regression. This study also used the general linear model to explain the DIF statistics from specific item characteristics. Results indicated that some item-level features predicted total DIF, but results for Grade 4 and Grade 8 were not consistent. Limitations and implications are discussed.
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