ACCESS for ELLs

ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English.


Purpose and Use
ACCESS for ELLs:
  • Exceeds the requirements stipulated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 and is used to measure and report growth in a manner consistent with the need for fulfilling these requirements.
  • Generates results that serve as one criterion to aid in determining when ELLs have attained the language proficiency needed to participate meaningfully in content area classrooms without program support and on state academic content tests without accommodations.
  • Provides districts with information that will aid in evaluating the effectiveness of their ESL/bilingual programs.
  • Identifies the ELP levels of students with respect to the WIDA ELP Standards' levels 1-6.
  • Provides information that can be used to enhance instruction and learning for ELLs.

Features
ACCESS for ELLs test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA's five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards:
  • Social & Instructional Language
  • Language of Language Arts
  • Language of Mathematics
  • Language of Science
  • Language of Social Studies

Test forms are divided into five grade-level clusters:
  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 1-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

Within each grade-level cluster (except Kindergarten), ACCESS for ELLs consists of three forms: Tier A (beginning), Tier B (intermediate), and Tier C (advanced). This keeps the test shorter and more appropriately targets each students' range of language skills.