PreK-12 EL Assessment

Like all students, English learners in grades K–12 must meet the demands of college and career readiness standards. Given ELs’ twin challenge of learning English while also learning academic content, language assessment plays a valuable role in ensuring that ELs have the opportunity to achieve academic success. In particular, assessing academic English language proficiency, rather than merely general social English, focuses on the language ELs need to know in order to access grade level academic content. 

The K–12 English language proficiency tests developed by CAL are part of a system of assessments that can be used to determine appropriate language support services, ascertain annual growth, and tailor language instruction. The overall goal of language assessment is to provide teachers useful information that can inform instruction to help students progress in learning English, so they may access the general education curriculum. Screener assessments ensure that ELs are identified appropriately to receive English language support, while summative test scores are able to demonstrate students’ annual progress in acquiring academic English. Furthermore, interim assessments can indicate students’ progress throughout the school year and can help teachers tailor instruction to meet instructional goals. 

Resources, News, and Events

Assessment Literacy For Language Educators
Assessment Literacy For Language Educators
Effects Of Instructional Hours And Intensity Of Instruction On NRS Level Gain In Listening And Speaking
Effects Of Instructional Hours And Intensity Of Instruction On NRS Level Gain In Listening And Speaking
Ask a Test Developer – A CAL Commentary
Ask a Test Developer – A CAL Commentary

Mina Niu, Kristine Nugent

September 2018

Assessment for Language Instructors: The Basics – Online Course
Assessment for Language Instructors: The Basics – Online Course

This online course provides world language instructors with an understanding of the fundamentals of assessment. The course lasts five weeks and includes five units that require 2 hours each. Unit ... Read more

Ensuring Fairness in Language Proficiency Assessments: Q&A – A CAL Commentary
Ensuring Fairness in Language Proficiency Assessments: Q&A – A CAL Commentary

Caitlin Gdowski, Keira Ballantyne, PhD

July 2018

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Related Projects

NYSESLAT (New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test)
NYSESLAT (New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test)

Funder: New York State, via subcontract from MetriTech

WIDA Partnership
WIDA Partnership

Funder: Funder: University of Wisconsin, WIDA

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The Center for Applied Linguistics is a nonprofit organization promoting access, equity, and mutual understanding for linguistically and culturally diverse people around the world.