What is the ACCESS for ELLs?
ACCESS for ELLs is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English language learners’ social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science and social studies within the school context across the four language domains.
Why is an English Language Proficiency test required?
Federal law requires that all English language learners in kindergarten through high school be assessed annually for English proficiency growth and academic progress. School districts receiving Title III grant resources will be held accountable under the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) provision of NCLB.
In addition, the Illinois Administrative Code requires districts to administer an individual language proficiency assessment to each student identified through the home language survey. This assessment shall take place within four weeks of the student’s enrollment in the district, for the purpose of determining the student’s eligibility for bilingual education services.
When do students take the ACCESS Screener?
After a home language survey has indicated that a language other than English is spoken in the home, or by the student, the district must screen the student within 30 days for English language proficiency. The ACCESS Screener (also know as the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test) is available free to Illinois school districts so that they can preliminary screen students for English language proficiency. The screener is not intended to replace the full blown administration of the secure ACCESS for ELLs assessment. The primary purpose of the screener is for initial identification and placement of an English language learning student into the academic setting.
For more information:
World-class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium (WIDA)