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Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs®) is designed to measure English language proficiency. It is a large-scale test that addresses the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium’s English Language Proficiency Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing English language learners.


WIDA Consortium's English Language Proficiency Standards and English Language Proficiency Levels

The WIDA Consortium's English Language Proficiency Standards for ELLs in Kindergarten through Grade 12 encompass five English language proficiency (ELP) standards and accompanying model performance indicators (PIs).

The grade level clusters include K, 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. There are five content areas of the standards. The first is social and instructional language (SI), which incorporates proficiencies needed to deal with the general language of the classroom and the school. The others are English language arts (LA), mathematics (MA), science (SC), and social studies (SS).

For each grade cluster, the standards specify one or more performance indicators for each content area within each of the four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. The language development proficiency levels are:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5






These levels describe the spectrum of a learner’s progression from knowing little to no English to acquiring the English skills necessary to be successful in an English-only classroom without extra support. Level 6 is designated Reaching and is for ELLs who are fully English proficient. Level 7 is used for students who are native English speakers or who have never been designated as ELL. Within each combination of grade level, content area, and language domain there is a PI at each of the five points on the proficiency scale, and the sequence of these five PIs together describe a logical progression and accumulation of skills on the path to full proficiency.

For additional information regarding ACCESS for ELLs testing, please visit the DPI website page: http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_access