ACCESS for English Language Learners

  • ACCESS for ELLs—(Assessing Comprehension & Communication in English State-to-State) for English Language Learners 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.

    Why is an English Language Proficiency test required?

    An 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. Last, the Illinois Administrative Code, Part 228, Section 228.15(f) indicates districts shall administer an individual language proficiency assessment to each student identified through the home language survey. This assessment shall take place within four weeks of the student's enrollment in the district, for the purpose of determining the student's eligibility for bilingual education services.

    • ACCESS, Grades K-8 (all domains, for all ELL students and parent refusals)
      (Grade K - paper based, Grades 1-8 - computer based) Standardized Testing Schedule


2024 ACCESS Testing

  • All multilingual students will participate in ACCESS testing during the window of January 17 - February 29, 2024. The ACCESS assessment results allow us to make decisions about students’ academic language and to facilitate their language development in Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Math. Their scores reflect proficiency levels between level 1 (entering) and level 6 (reaching). Students exit multilingual programming when they reach a 4.8 on the ACCESS exam. One tool that empowers us to meet students where they are in their development is the WIDA Can Do Descriptors. Thank you for your support of language development!