English Language Learning
Access and Identification
- ACCESS for ELLs Testing Schedule Extension (2/5/14)
Due to the severe weather conditions that many districts have experienced during the current ACCESS administration, ISBE is extending the administration window for one week. Testing and return shipping deadlines are now seven calendar days later than those in your currently approved schedule. Use of this extra time is optional, not required. Please, return your ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS materials for scoring as soon as possible to minimize any delay in processing by MetriTech.
Contact UPS to arrange your material pickup, 800-823-7459.
For questions about testing or the time extension, contact ISBE at 866-317-6034.
Questions about materials and shipping should be directed to MetriTech, 800-747-4868.
- 2014 - ACCESS for ELLs
The regular testing window for the ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs begins Monday, January 13, 2014. Materials should have arrived in districts by now. If there are any problems or concerns with the materials, please contact MetriTech at 800-747-4868.
Also, remember that the ACCESS Listening Assessment will not be read aloud by the test administrator from this year. Instead it will be media-based. All listening items will be played from a CD or streamed online for all tiers at grades 1-12. Make sure your electronic devices are working properly prior to the administration and that test administrators are adequately prepared. WIDA’s online training for the group assessment has been updated to reflect this change. Retraining is not required for ACCESS test administrators in Illinois, but is available for those who are interested. Please refer to the 2014 ACCESS for ELLs® Listening Test Changes for more information.
- 2014 ACCESS for ELL Administration Survey
The survey data will be used to inform future test administration guidelines for the technology based ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 assessment. Please complete the survey after having finished 2014 ACCESS for ELL test administration.
- New "proficiency" definition for identifying English Learners in Illinois Schools as of January 1, 2014 (6/27/2013)
- ACCESS for ELLs®
How do you know if a student enrolling in your district is Limited English Proficient (LEP) (also called an English Language Learner (ELL)) and is eligible for language support services?
Follow these steps:
- Administer a Home Language Survey to ALL students (Preschool - Grade 12) newly registering in your district. Sample Home Language Surveys are available on the ISBE website in English and forty other languages.
- Assess the English language proficiency of all students whose parents answered "yes" to one or both of the Home Language Survey questions, "Is a language other than English spoken in the home?' and "Does the student speak a language other than English?"
- If the student is identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP), provide services as required based on the individual student's needs.
- Annually report identified LEP students on the Student Information System (SIS).
- 2014 ACCESS for ELLs® Listening Test Changes Reminder:
School districts serving English learners are reminded that the ACCESS for ELLs listening test for 2014 will be media-based. All listening items will be played from a recording, instead of being read aloud by the test administrator, for all tiers at grades 1-12. The recording can be played from a CD or streamed online via a secured website. Additional information about the changes in the listening test can be found at http://www.isbe.net/bilingual/pdfs/ACCESS-listening-test-update13-14.pdf.
Test administrators should thoroughly review this revision in the administration manual before giving the test. The ACCESS online training has been updated to reflect the new format. Re-training is not required, but is available for those interested. See the test administration manual for additional information, http://www.wida.us/downloadLibrary.aspx. (Wida website: Look Under "ACCESS for ELLS®." Training account login required.)
Please note that kindergarten and the Alternate ACCESS® listening tests are not included in this format revision.
(WIDA website at http://www.wida.us/assessment/ACCESS or http://www.wida.us/downloadLibrary.aspx. Training account login required.)
ACCESS for ELLs® 2013-2014
- Access for ELLs® Assessment Archive
- Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Manual
(WIDA website at http://www.wida.us/assessment/alternateaccess.aspx. Training account login required.)
- Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Participation Guidance 2013-2014
- Alternate ACCESS for ELLs PowerPoint Presentation (12/10/13)
- Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Writing Scoring Guide
- Implementing the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Webinar - October 17, 2012
This webinar describes the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, explain the steps necessary to implement it, and discuss identifying the target population.
An annual English Language Proficiency test is required under No Child Left Behind legislation passed in 2001. NCLB indicates that all K-12 English language learners must be assessed annually for English proficiency growth (Title III) and academic progress (Title I). School districts receiving Title III grant resources will be held accountable under the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) provision of NCLB. In addition, the Illinois Administrative Code, Part 228, Section 228.15(e) and 228.25(c) outlines detailed information regarding the English language proficiency required in Illinois.
ACCESS for ELLs® is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English language learners' social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context across the four language domains. The secure full-scale ACCESS for ELLs® assessment will be distributed at no cost to public schools.
The W-APT™ is modeled after the ACCESS for ELLs®, but their purposes differ in important ways. The W-APT™ is a screening instrument designed to assess English language proficiency primarily to determine eligibility for and placement within an ELL program. The ACCESS for ELLs® is an annual assessment designed to assess student progress in achieving English language proficiency. For more information on how these two tests differ visit: http://www.wida.us/assessment/comparing.aspx.
All public school districts are required to assess annually all identified English Language Learners (ELLs)/Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in grades K-12 using the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment until the students test as English language proficient. This includes all identified students whose parents have refused language support services. All LEP students must be tested until they achieve the state prescribed minimum score to be considered English language proficient.
5. What proficiency level score does a student have to obtain to be considered English language proficient?
As of January 1, 2014, students who obtain an overall composite proficiency level of 5.0 as well as a reading proficiency level of 4.2 and a writing proficiency level of 4.2 on the annually administered state approved English language proficiency test, ACCESS for ELLs®, are to be considered English language proficient.
Districts with additional questions regarding the determination of English language proficiency are encouraged to call the Division of English Language Learning at 312-814-3850.
The Local Educational Agency (LEA) is required to consult with private schools regarding Title III, Part A specifically to determine how their ELL/LEP students will be identified and served. The LEA is responsible for assessing the English language proficiency of private school students and may be able to use Title III Part A funds to pay for initial LEP assessments for these students. (Please note: funds cannot supplant other federal, state and/or local funds.)
Private schools are NOT required to use ACCESS for ELLs® as recipients of Federal Title III program services. However, private schools seeking Title III program services, through their Local Educational Agency (LEA), must demonstrate that the English language proficiency of all students they report to their LEAs is assessed annually and that each student is limited English proficient. Private schools can accomplish this by using the WIDA ACCESS™ Placement Test (W-APT™ Screener)* available free of charge at this website. Private school staff administering the screener must be trained to administer and score the W-APT™.
The secure ACCESS for ELLs® is also currently available for private schools within the WIDA Consortium member states. Only private schools that agree to abide by confidentiality policies and security will be granted permission to order booklets at their own expense directly from MetriTech. Private schools interested in ordering materials should call Tim Boals at 608-267-1290.