English Language Proficiency Assessment
Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to annually administer a single statewide English language proficiency (ELP) assessment to all English learners (ELs) enrolled in grades K-12. The primary purpose of this mandate is to ensure that all students graduate high school ready for college and career. To fulfill this requirement, Idaho districts administer ACCESS for ELLs (ACCESS) between January and March each year. Results are used to measure and monitor student progress, inform and enhance educator pedagogy, and ensure that a district’s language instruction educational program is proven effective in helping students overcome English language barriers.
Idaho has been a member of the WIDA Consortium since 2015. In addition to adopting the WIDA English Language Development Standards, Idaho utilizes a number of the WIDA English language proficiency (ELP) assessments at various times throughout the academic year to satisfy federal and state mandates. Idaho districts use WIDA ELP assessment scores to verify a student’s eligibility for EL services, monitor English language growth, and exit students from a district’s language instructional education program.
WIDA ELD Standards Framework - 2020 Edition
The WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition, defines the language multilingual learners need as they engage in disciplinary learning. The framework serves as a resource for planning and implementing language curriculum, instruction and assessment for multilingual learners." Preview and download the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition: Kindergarten-Grade 12.
ACCESS for ELLs (ACCESS) is the collective name for WIDA's suite of summative English language proficiency (ELP) assessments. ACCESS is a standards-based, large-scale, secure, summative ELP assessment taken annually by English learners in kindergarten through grade 12. ELs are tested on the five WIDA English Language Development Standards.
WIDA English Language Development Standards:
- English Language Development Standard 1: English Learners communicate for Social and Instructional purposes within the school setting.
- English Language Development Standard 2: English Learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Language Arts.
- English Language Development Standard 3: English Learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Mathematics.
- English Language Development Standard 4: English Learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Science.
- English Language Development Standard 5: English Learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Social Studies.
A student’s academic English language faculty is measured in the four language domains: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.
ACCESS for ELLs Online
ACCESS for ELLs Online (ACCESS Online) is a computer-based, adaptive test that is delivered through a secure browser. ACCESS Online is the default ELP assessment administered to ELs in grades 1 – 12 in Idaho. Each language domain is scored automatically by the test platform or by the test vendor’s trained raters. ELs in grades 1-3 complete the Writing domain of ACCESS Online via paper.
ACCESS for ELLs Paper
ACCESS for ELLs Paper (ACCESS Paper) is a paper-based test available to ELs who are unable to complete ACCESS Online. The Speaking domain is administered individually and is scored by a certified Test Administrator. The Listening, Reading, and Writing domains are scored by the test vendor after the paper materials are received.
Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs
Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs (Kindergarten ACCESS) is a paper-based test and is individually administered to Kindergarten students by a certified Test Administrator. The Test Administrator scores all language domains at the time the assessment is given. Each Kindergarten ACCESS test takes approximately 30 – 60 minutes.
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs (Alt. ACCESS) is a summative English language proficiency assessment that is administered to children who have been identified as English learners and who have met the Idaho Alternate Assessment Participation Criteria.
ACCESS for ELLs & Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Exit Criteria
|ACCESS for ELLs||Alternate ACCESS for ELLs|
|≥ 4.2 Overall Proficiency Level||≥ P2 (Emerging) Overall Proficiency Level|
|≥ 3.5 Listening Proficiency Level|
|≥ 3.5 Reading Proficiency Level|
|≥ 3.5 Writing Proficiency Level|
|≥ 1.0 Speaking Proficiency Level|
To request an accessible or translated score report for your child’s assessment results, contact your local school district.
WIDA Screener for Kindergarten or WIDA Screener is given to newly enrolled students to Idaho and verifies the child’s eligibility to enter a district’s language instruction educational program. English language proficiency (ELP) screeners are given to provisional ELs within the first 30-days of enrollment. WIDA Screener(s) may only be administered by certified Test Administrators and are available to be administered via on-demand throughout the academic year.
All necessary training manuals and certification quizzes to administer both the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten and WIDA Screener are housed within the WIDA Secure Portal.
The following figure shows the appropriate grade‐level cluster test form for students, depending on the semester and grade-level when the test is administered.
Recommended Grade-Level Cluster Test Form and Enrollment Semester
|Grade-Cluster Form||K||Grade 1 Test||Grades 2-3 Test||Grades 4-5 Test||Grades 6-8 Test||Grades 9-12 Test|
WIDA Screener for Kindergarten
WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is an adaptive paper-and-pencil ELP screener given to provisional ELs newly enrolled in Kindergarten through first semester grade 1. WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is one tool used during the EL identification process. The WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is scored at the time the screener is administered by the Test Administrator. After the screener is completed, the Test Administrator uses the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten Score Calculator to calculate language domain proficiency levels, composite scores, and an overall English proficiency level.
WIDA Screener for Kindergarten Screen-Out Criteria
|First Semester Kindergarten||Second Semester Kindergarten||First Semester Grade 1|
|≥ 5.0 Oral Language Proficiency Level||≥ 5.0 Oral Language Proficiency Level||≥ 5.0 Oral Language Proficiency Level|
|≥ 4.0 Listening Proficiency Level||≥ 4.0 Listening Proficiency Level||≥ 4.0 Listening Proficiency Level|
|≥ 4.0 Speaking Proficiency Level||≥ 4.0 Speaking Proficiency Level||≥ 4.0 Speaking Proficiency Level|
|≥ 2.0 Literacy Score||≥ 4.0 Literacy Score|
WIDA Screener (Online & Paper)
WIDA Screener Online is administered online via the DRC Insight browser after a test session is created within WIDA AMS. The Listening and Speaking domains are scored by the DRC Insight test platform, while the Speaking and Writing domains are scored within WIDA AMS by a certified Test Administrator (TA). Students in grades 1-3 taking WIDA Screener Online will be given the Writing domain of the test on paper. After students in grades 1-3 complete the Writing domain, the TA scores the responses and uploads the scores into WIDA AMS.
WIDA Screener Paper is a paper-based test available to ELs who are unable to complete WIDA Screener Online. WIDA Screener Paper is administered in a one-to-one setting and is scored locally by a certified Test Administrator. Once completed, the raw scores are input into the WIDA Screener Paper Score Calculator. Certain materials for the WIDA Screener Paper must be requested prior to administration of the screener. Email the ELPA Coordinator Andrew Bennett or call (208) 332-6909 for more information.
WIDA Screener (Online & Paper) Screen-Out Criteria
|Second Semester Grade 1 – Grade 12|
|≥ 5.0 Overall Proficiency Level Score|
|≥ 4.0 Listening Proficiency Level|
|≥ 4.0 Speaking Proficiency Level|
|≥ 4.0 Reading Proficiency Level|
|≥ 4.0 Writing Proficiency Level|
District and school staff administering a WIDA English language proficiency assessment, must first be trained and certified. Yearly re-certification is required for the ACCESS for ELLs suite of assessments and WIDA Screener(s). To start the certification process or to re-certify, staff need to acquire a WIDA Secure Portal account to gain access to specific training materials, tutorials, and certification quizzes. New Test Administrators should contact their District Test Coordinator or WIDA Client Services Center to have a WIDA account created for them.
Scores of 80% or higher are required to attain certification for each ELP assessment: WIDA Screener for Kindergarten, WIDA Screener (Online/Paper), ACCESS for ELLs, Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, and/or Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs. The WIDA Secure Portal houses training modules, assessment manuals, online professional learning modules, and other useful resources that will assist in the certification process.
Frequently Asked Questions
ELPA Account Setup
ELPA Training & Certification
There are multiple training opportunities focused on planning and administering ELP assessments throughout the academic year. Calendar dates can be imported to your specific calendar by 1) selecting the title of the desired webinar and, 2) selecting the green “save” icon. The Training Vignettes gives the audience a quick overview around the topics listed.