Assessments (ESL)

The Linden Public Schools are committed to adhering to national and state standards regarding the identification, placement, and assessment of the English language ability of our English Language Learners. In accordance with the policies set forth by the federal government as well as those of the state of New Jersey, Linden utilizes several standardized assessments that are also the norm throughout much of the United States.

For the 2013-2014 academic year, our elementary schools use the WIDA MODEL for identifying and placing new students into our ESL program. At the middle school and high school level, the W-APT is used. Both assessments are administered only once per child upon his/her entry into the district, and the results of those tests become the first data point that will be used to measure and evaluate that student’s linguistic growth.

For all grades and schools, the ACCESS for ELLs is used in the early spring to provide a standard measure of each English Language Learner’s growth throughout the previous year. The data collected from this assessment is used to evaluate not only that child’s performance, but also reported to the state of New Jersey to determine our performance as educators.

We are extremely proud to let our community know that our district has consistently met all of the state’s required targets for as long as they have been measured!

Purpose

W-APT stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. It is an English language proficiency “screener” test given to incoming students who may be designated as English language learners. It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELLs. The W-APT is one component of WIDA’s comprehensive assessment system.

W-APT test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA’s five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards:

  • Social & Instructional Language
  • Language of Language Arts
  • Language of Mathematics
  • Language of Science
  • Language of Social Studies

Test forms are divided into five grade-level clusters:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 1-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

Each form of the test assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

The W-APT is designed to be individually administered and adaptive, meaning that parts of the test may be discontinued as soon as the student reaches his or her performance “ceiling.”

The Kindergarten W-APT

The Kindergarten W-APT is meant to be administered to second semester preK, K, and first semester 1st grade students. It is organized as a single, individually-administered test with a combined Speaking/Listening component. The Reading and Writing tests make up a separate test which is optional, and only for students with some literacy skills.

The Kindergarten W-APT is not able to assign scores across the full range of WIDA ELP levels 1-6. Instead, scores for Speaking and Listening are marked as showing low, mid, high, or exceptional proficiency. Scoring details can be found in the W-APT Test Administration Manual and on the scoring sheets.

The WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten assessment is an optional replacement to the Kindergarten W-APT and it yields a score between 1 and 6 on the WIDA ELP scale. To learn more about this test kit, please visit the WIDA MODEL page under “Assessment.”

Administration

The W-APT for a particular grade level cluster is administered to children one semester beyond the beginning of the grade level cluster and one semester beyond the end of the grade level cluster. For example, the grades 3-5 W-APT is administered to children from 2nd semester grade 3 through lst semester grade 6.

The W-APT for all grade levels except kindergarten is administered as follows:

  • The Speaking test is administered first, followed by the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests.
  • All components are adaptive, meaning the component in process is stopped when the test administrator reaches items with more complex material than the student is likely to successfully handle. Instructions for stopping a component are included in the test script.

Evaluation

  • Scoring for the Speaking section of the W-APT is identical to the ACCESS for ELLs. Trained test administrators determine whether a student’s response approaches, meets, or exceeds expectations based on a given rubric.
  • Scoring for the Writing test is also based on a rubric. Scored writing samples are available to help raters get accustomed to using the rubric. Note that test administrators do not score the ACCESS for ELLs Writing test, so W-APT test administrators must take on additional training to reliably score students’ Writing tests.
  • An answer key on the scoring sheet is provided for the multiple choice Listening and Reading items.
  • The W-APT scoring sheet guides test administrators in assigning an overall or composite English language proficiency level for all four components of the test.

The W-APT Score Calculator is a tool to save test administrators the time and trouble of manually converting raw scores and calculating students’ composite proficiency levels (CPLs). With the click of a button, it calculates Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening scores, along with the CPL and a grade-adjusted CPL. Unfortunately, it can not be applied to Kindergarten scores at this time

W-APT Homepage

Purpose

MODEL test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA’s five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards:

  • Social & Instructional Language
  • Language of Language Arts
  • Language of Mathematics
  • Language of Science
  • Language of Social Studies

Test forms are divided into five grade level clusters:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 1–2
  • Grades 3–5
  • Grades 6–8
  • Grades 9–12

Each form of the test assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
MODEL is an adaptive test allowing flexible placement within sections of the test based on student performance.

Administration

The Test Administration Manual, Training CD-ROM, and DVD are provided in all kits to aid educators in the administration of WIDA MODEL. The Test Administration Manual contains all the information needed to administer and score the test. The CD-ROM includes PowerPoint presentations about administering and scoring the test which may be used by local trainers to train other test administrators on MODEL. The DVD provides test administration training guidance as well as footage of administering the tests to students.

Evaluation

WIDA MODEL yields valid and reliable results that are provided as scale scores and English language proficiency levels.

Scores are reported for each of the four language domains and in several composites as follows:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Oral Language (50% Listening, 50 % Speaking)
  • Literacy (50% Reading, 50% Writing)
  • Overall (30% Oral Language, 70% Literacy)

The proficiency levels (1-6) resulting from the WIDA MODEL are directly related to the WIDA ELP Standards. Another useful resource for teachers is WIDA’s grade-level cluster CAN DO Descriptors. This publication provides examples of what ELLs can be expected to do in each of the four domains at each of the five proficiency levels defined in the WIDA ELP Standards. To interpret students’ results on MODEL, refer to the WIDA ELP Standards and/or CAN DO Descriptors.

WIDA MODEL Homepage

Purpose

ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English.

ACCESS for ELLs scores can be used to:

  • Monitor student progress on an annual basis
  • Establish when ELLs have attained English language proficiency according to state criteria
  • Inform classroom instruction and assessment
  • Aid in programmatic decision-making

Administration

Grades 1-12 Listening, Reading, and Writing

  • Listening and Reading sections consist of multiple choice questions
  • Writing section prompts the student for a constructed response
  • Can be administered in groups of up to 22 students
  • Separate test forms for each grade level cluster and tier; students from different clusters or tiers must be separated into different sessions
  • Scored by WIDA’s partner, MetriTech, not by the local test administrator (TA)
  • Note: The 2013-14 Listening Test is media-delivered. TAs should retake the Group Test Administration module and quiz.

Grades 1-12 Speaking

  • Individually administered
  • Not tiered; all students in the same grade level cluster take the same test
  • Adaptive, meaning items are presented until the student reaches his/her performance “ceiling”
  • Scored locally by the TA; each item must be scored before moving on to the next

Kindergarten

  • Individually administered
  • Not tiered; all students take the same test
  • All domains (Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing) are tested twice, once within the expository section and once within the narrative section
  • Speaking and Listening are presented together, alternating between a listening task followed by a speaking task
  • All sections are adaptive, meaning items are presented until the student reaches his/her performance “ceiling”
  • Scored locally by the TA

Evaluation

Student results are reported in three ways: as raw scores, scale scores, and English language proficiency (ELP) levels.

Scores are reported for each of the four language domains and in several composites as follows:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Oral Language (Listening 50%, Speaking 50%)
  • Literacy (Reading 50%, Writing 50%)
  • Comprehension (Listening 30%, Reading 70%)
  • Overall (Listening 15%, Speaking 15%, Reading 35%, Writing 35%)

WIDA ACCESS for ELLs Homepage

New Jersey Department of Education WIDA Information

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