Publications & Products

Early Language Assessments

CAL has a long history of developing effective language assessments for children. Our early language assessment offerings, SOPA (Student Oral Proficiency Assessment) and ELLOPA (Early Language Listening and Oral Proficiency Assessment), are being enhanced through the creation of a computer-based self-access training program and companion materials. Although CAL’s online training courses and professional development workshops will not be available while the training program is in development, current users of SOPA and ELLOPA can continue administering the assessments during this development period.

We are soliciting feedback from current and potential users of SOPA and ELLOPA who are interested in learning more about the training program and potential review activities. If you would like to be contacted regarding SOPA and ELLOPA updates and have not completed a previous survey, please follow the link below to complete a short survey.

Contact us if you have any questions about early language assessments. 

Here is information about CAL’s early language assessments:

  • SOPA (Student Oral Proficiency Assessment)
    for Grades 2-8
  • ELLOPA (Early Language Listening and Oral Proficiency Assessment) 
    for Grades PreK-2
  • COPE (CAL Oral Proficiency Exam) 
    Middle School Assessment for Intensive Language Programs

SOPA (Student Oral Proficiency Assessment) and ELLOPA (Early Language Listening and Oral Proficiency Assessment)
Available languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish

The SOPA or ELLOPA are innovative language proficiency assessment instruments designed to allow students to demonstrate their highest level of performance in speaking (further broken down into oral fluency, grammar, vocabulary) and listening.

These interactive listening and speaking assessments are designed for children who are learning a second language in a school setting. They include hands-on activities and are conducted entirely in the target language. Students are assessed in pairs by two trained test administrators and are encouraged to interact with each other as well as with the test administrators during the assessment process. The focus of the assessment is to determine what students can do with the target language.

COPE (CAL Oral Proficiency Exam)
Available Languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish

COPE was designed for Grades 5–8 students enrolled in immersion programs. Using an oral interview/role play technique with two students at a time, the COPE measures students’ ability to interact with others in a second language. The test measures students’ levels of development in both academic language (the ability to discuss topics in content areas, e.g., social studies, geography, and science) and social language (the ability to discuss everyday topics, e.g., family, recreational activities, and so on).

Students’ COPE responses are scored with a rating rubric that targets both listening and speaking (speaking is further broken down into fluency, vocabulary, and grammar). The rating rubric was developed based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines so that test scores can be interpreted with reference to ACTFL Proficiency Levels. COPE tasks include a variety of tasks and topics, including greetings, discussing program of studies, holding a conversation in the cafeteria, discussing timelines, loaning and returning books in the library, following instructions during a fire drill, and organizing social studies trips.