Department of Defense Education Activity

Assessments for English Language Learners (ELLs)

Assessments for English Language Learners (ELLs)

With the implementation of the College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS), DoDEA has adopted assessments to measure English language proficiency of English Language Learners (ELLs). DoDEA administers the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs assessments in the spring semester. The WIDA ACCESS for ELLs assessments measure a student’s academic language acquisition in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Student Participation

English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students in Grades K-12 will be administered the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs assessments to monitor their progress in acquiring academic English.

  • Kindergarten ESOL students will be administered the Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs assessment via per/pen administration.
  • ESOL students in Grades 1-12 will be administered the ACCESS for ELLs via online administration.
  • ESOL students with severe cognitive disabilities are eligible for the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs assessment via paper/pen administration.

Features of the WIDA assessments include:

  • Assessment of the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • Alignment with the WIDA English Language development standards in Social and Instructional Language, Language of Language Arts, Language of Mathematics, Language of Science, and Language of Social Studies

WIDA ACCESS Assessment Score Reports

Student results are reported as scale scores and as English language proficiency (ELP) level scores for the each of the four language domains.

  • Scale scores fall within the 100 – 600 range and each domain has a separate scale.
  • ELP level scores describe student performance as one of six ELP levels: 1-Entering, 2-Emerging, 3-Developing, 4-Expanding, 5-Bridging, and 6-Reaching.

Sample ACCESS for ELLs Individual Student Report (ISR)

Sample Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Individual Student Report (ISR)

Resources for Teachers, Parents, and Students

Informational Guides and Score Report Guides

Resources for teachers to use in planning for instruction and screening

  • WIDA Standards in Action- Standards represent the language students need to be successful in early childhood programs and Grades K-12. The first standard, Social and Instructional Language, reflects the ways in which students interact socially to build community and establish working relationships with peers and teachers in ways that support learning The remaining four standards present ways multilingual learners can communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies
  • WIDA Screener is an English language proficiency assessment given to new students in Grades 1–12 to help educators identify whether they are English language learners (ELLs). It is a flexible, on-demand assessment that can be administered at any time during the school year.
  • ACCESS for ELLs Composite Score Calculator for Missing Domain

Student Practice Tests

Practice online tests and demos are available for students and teachers to become familiar with the kinds of items and format used for the tests.

Access for ELLs Online
  • The Test Demo is a series of videos that explain how students will take the online test and interact with the test platform.
  • The Sample Items provide students, parents, and educators with a better understanding of the ACCESS for ELLs Online assessment that is based on the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards. These are not items that will appear on the operational test, but they provide a close proximity to the items that students will see on the test. To access and view the Sample Items, a Chrome browser must be used.
  • The Test Practice items are designed to allow students to experience taking the assessment online and to experiment with the features available to them during the actual assessment. The above link provides access to the Test Practice items for ACCESS for ELLs Online and WIDA Screener Online. To access and view the Test Practice Items, a Chrome browser must be used. All of the computer-based practice tests do not have scoring capability built into the tool.
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
  • The Sample Items help students, parents, and educators become familiar with features of the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. One sample item is provided for each domain (Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing) to show how items are formatted in each section.

Additional resources can be found on the WIDA website and the WIDA Secure Portal for teachers.

To manage the test and access reports, School Test Coordinator can go to the WIDA Assessment Management System (AMS).

Contact Information

Please contact your child’s teacher or school administrator with any questions regarding ESOL assessments and score reports.