Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs)
ACCESS for ELLs is administered, annually, to all English language learners in Georgia. 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. ACCESS for ELLs meets the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandate requiring states to evaluate ELL students in grades K through 12 on their progress in learning to speak English.
ACCESS for ELLs is used to determine the English language proficiency levels and progress of ELLs in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. ACCESS for ELLs serves five main purposes. These include:
- determining the English language proficiency level of students;
- providing districts with information that will help them evaluate the effectiveness of their ESOL programs;
- providing information that enhances instruction and learning in programs for English language learners;
- assessing annual English language proficiency gains using a standards-based assessment instrument;
- providing data for meeting federal and state requirements with respect to student assessment.
The ACCESS for ELLs series spans five grade level clusters and six proficiency levels. The grade level clusters include: Kindergarten, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12.
Results for ACCESS for ELLs are reported in the four domains and proficiency in six levels. The six proficiency levels are: Entering (Level 1), Beginning (Level 2), Developing (Level 3), Expanding (Level 4), Bridging (Level 5) and Reaching (Level 6). There are three distinctive, yet overlapping, tiers for each grade level cluster except kindergarten. The kindergarten assessment is individually administered and covers all proficiency levels.
Like all assessments in Georgia’s Student Assessment Program, ACCESS for ELLs is a secure test.