ACCESS for ELLs Assessing Comprehension & Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners
THE TEST - The State of Illinois requires that all English Language Learners (ELL students) in grades K-12 be tested annually to determine their English language progress. We administer the ACCESS test each year in January.
ACCESS for ELLs test items are based on WIDA's five English Language Proficiency standards: Social & Instructional Language Language of Language Arts Language of Mathematics Language of Science Language of Social Studies
To more accurately test each student's proficiency growth, their are 13 different forms of the test based on the students' ages and language skill levels. Each form of the test assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
THE RESULTS - ACCESS for ELLs helps teachers and parents understand how students are learning to speak and use English at school and at home. The results are reported as a Proficiency level from 1 to 6 in each area tested (Listening/Reading, Speaking, Writing). A score of 1 means the student is just beginning to acquire English proficiency, while a score of 6 indicates that the student has mastered the language at the same level as native English speaking peers. The individual language domains are added together to attain different scores including a comprehension score, an oral language score, a literacy score, and a composite score. It is normal for students to develop at different rates in the different domains with oral skills (speaking and listening) developing more quickly. This is why the state of Illinois is most concerned with the Literacy score (a blend of reading and writing sub-tests) and the Composite score (the overall proficiency level.) Currently, the state mandates that all students with scores below 4.2 on Reading and Writing subtests and 5.0 on the Composite are eligible for ELL services.
Level 1 — Entering Knows and uses social language and visually supported information in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Level 2 — Beginning Knows and uses social English and some general language of reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Level 3 — Developing Knows and uses social English and some general and specific language of, reading, mathematics, science, and social studies
Level 4 — Expanding Knows and uses social English and some academic English, including some technical language in the subject areas
Level 5 — Bridging Knows and uses social and academic English and understands and uses technical language in the subject areas at grade level
Level 6 — Attained Functions in English at grade level; and no longer needs English language support.
The individual language domains are added together to attain different scores including a comprehension score, an oral language score, a literacy score, and a composite score.