English Language Learning
Access and Identification
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).
- 2016 ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Calendar (7/31/15)
- ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Fall Webinars
Beginning September 23, 2015, WIDA will be conducting a series of webinars to help prepare school districts for this year’s ACCESS administration.
Click here for announcements and resources about the transition to ACCESS for ELLs 2.0.
- ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Updates - 2015 Bilingual Program Directors’ Meeting Presentation (9/15)
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Site File setup via SIS- due Sep. 30, 2015
Data Recognition Corp. (DRC), the new material vendor for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, requested that schools and districts in Illinois that will be participating in the ACCESS 2.0 and ordering materials provide a Site File by Sept. 30, 2015.
- The Site File identifies contact information for key staff who will facilitate the assessment.
- ISBE will use the Student Information System (SIS) to collect this information and will transfer the Site File to DRC on Oct. 1, 2015.
- DRC will create district accounts in its online administration management system called WIDA-AMS.
- District coordinator(s) reported in the SIS Site File will be notified by email once those accounts are ready to use.
- Schools and districts are recommended to view the SIS webinar “Planning for School Year 2016” showing the Site File setup and how to submit information.
- What is WIDA-AMS?
ISBE is no longer using paper forms for this process. For districts wanting to choose an alternate testing window for ACCESS 2.0, please check the SIS webinar that explains how to request alternate testing dates. No reason for the request needs to be entered, but if the number of waiver requests is very large, districts may be asked to provide additional information regarding their request.
W-APT Training for EL Screening – a new WIDA training module
There is a new training module in webinar format at www.wida.us for those who are interested in being trained to administer the W-APT for EL screening. The training for the annual ACCESS for ELLS assessment formerly was considered to be sufficient for the W-APT as well. That is no longer the case.
- Now that the ACCESS 2.0 listening and speaking domains will be administered from an audio recording, a separate training module created specifically for the W-APT is more appropriate.
- Those who have already passed the ACCESS for ELLs training do not need to retrain to administer the W-APT.
- Anyone training for the first time to administer the W-APT should use the new module, which covers all four domains.
- The new W-APT training module does not conclude with a quiz or award a certificate of completion. Also, completion of the new W-APT module is not tracked or recorded by either ISBE or WIDA.
- Note that completing the new W-APT module does not qualify someone to administer ACCESS 2.0 for the annual state assessment. Training modules for ACCESS 2.0, both on paper and online, will be released soon.
- Training to screen at the kindergarten level remains the same as in the past. If you have questions, contact ISBE at (866) 317-6034.
- ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Overview
- Implementation Resources
- WIDA-AMS Website
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.
- 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.
- What is the difference between ACCESS for ELLs, W-APT screener and MODEL?
The W-APT and MODEL are modeled after the ACCESS for ELLs®, but their purposes differ in important ways. The W-APT and MODEL are screening instruments 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 tests differ visit: http://www.wida.us/assessment/comparing.aspx.
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.
Please read the instructions below. This process is for educators that are not currently certified to administer ACCESS for ELLs, W-APT Screener or the MODEL
Each school district in WIDA’s user account system now has a District Test Coordinator (DTC). The DTC’s roles include creating new WIDA training accounts for district staff and monitoring that district staff have completed WIDA training modules. If you need assistance with a WIDA account, contact WIDA Client Services, 866-276-7735, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once an educator successfully completes the quizzes to administer ACCESS for ELLs, W-APT Screener and the MODEL, it will take approximately 6-8 weeks for the record to appear on the Illinois Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS).
Educators that have previously been certified do not need to be re-certified on an annual basis.
Click Here for WIDA Training Account Password Reset Instructions.
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 a WIDA ACCESS™ Placement Test (W-APT Screener or WIDA MODEL)* available free of charge at the WIDA website. Private school staff administering the screener must be trained to administer and score the W-APT Screener or WIDA MODEL.
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.
District Training Resources
- PARCC Resources for ELLs
- PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual, 3rd edition (p. 44-48 about Accommodations for ELs)
- Word-to-Word Bilingual Dictionaries for EL students during PARCC testing
- PARCC Translated Directions - In left-hand column - select "S" - Scripts (Language Translations)
ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 2014-2015
ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 2013-2014
ACCESS for ELLs 2012-2013
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 2012-2013
ACCESS for ELLs 2011-2012
ACCESS for ELLs 2010-2011