English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)Top of Page
Who is given the ELPAC test?
The ELPAC is the required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that must be given to students whose primary language is a language other than English. When students first enter US schools whether in kindergarten or 12th grade, parents must indicate the student's primary language on a home language survey. Based on this survey, students are classified as English Learners (EL). The ELPAC is administered as an initial assessment to newly enrolled EL students and annually to students who have been previously identified as EL students in grades K - 12.
Why must students take the ELPAC test?
State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of ELP to eligible students in K - 12. This exam requires students to demonstrate their proficiency in the four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The results are used for assessment for student language growth and proficiency as well as class placement and reclassification.
How does the ELPAC test help me?
When students test, whether for the first time or yearly, their language skills are assessed. This gives information about their learning to their current and future teachers, administrators, and parents. It helps teachers to better support students’ language needs and learning goals. It helps administrators place students in the correct classes to best support growth. It helps parents to understand how their student is progressing in their language growth.
But most of all, it helps students to qualify for Reclassification, the main goal of EL programs. IHS wants all students to succeed beyond high school and part of that effort is around getting as many students proficient in English as possible. If you would like to know more about Reclassification please see this page.
What is on the ELPAC test?
The exam is designed to align to the CA English Language Development Standards as well as the CA CCSS for English Language Arts, CCSS for Literacy in Social Science, CA Science Standards and Standards for Technical Subjects using increasingly complex grade-level texts. The questions and tasks are designed to mimic real world and classroom situations or tasks for students across a variety of subject areas. The exam has four sections:
- Reading: students will be asked to read passages and answer questions about the purpose of the text, main ideas, details of the text, vocabulary, claims and evidence, and grammar.
- Writing: students will be asked to write literary and informative texts including stand alone questions, describing a picture, graphic organizer, or a written text.
- Listening: students will be asked to answer questions while listening to a variety of auditory situations, including: listening to short and long conversations, oral presentations, and a speaker supporting an opinion.
- Speaking: students will be asked to speak about a picture, charts or graphs, support their opinions about a given situation, and summarize an academic presentation.
Students and Parents are welcome to preview a practice test or learn more about it at the CDE website.
How is the ELPAC test scored?
The ELPAC is scored in each section and overall on a 4 point scale.
Score 4 Students at this level have well developed English skills. They can usually use English to learn new things in school and to interact in social situations. They may occasionally need help using English.
Score 3 Students at this level have moderately developed English skills. They can sometimes use English to learn new things in school and to interact in social situations. They may need help using English to communicate on less-familiar school topics and in less-familiar social situations.
Score 2 Students at this level have somewhat developed English skills. They usually need help using English to learn new things at school and to interact in social situations. They can often use English for simple communication.
Score 1 Students at this level are at a beginning stage of developing English skills. They usually need substantial help using English to learn new things at school and to interact in social situations. They may know some English words and phrases.
When will students be tested?
All incoming (new) students will participate in Initial ELPAC testing before they receive their schedules for classes to ensure they are placed in the correct courses. Summative assessments happen yearly typically in February or March. Students and families will receive notification of upcoming testing from IHS administration.