English Language Proficiency Assessments

States use a variety of English language proficiency assessments to identify, monitor, and exit ELLs. Most states participate in assessment consortia that unify around English language proficiency standards. The main consortia, including the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA), and the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21), have developed their own standards that comply with NCLB’s specifications. To see a breakdown of the states that participate in these (and other) consortia, and the language assessments used for various screening purposes, click here.


States that have not joined the two main consortia use a variety of other English language proficiency assessments.

English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessments

Consortia and non-consortia assessments used to determine the English proficiency of ELs

Common Core Assessments for ELLs

Two assessment consortia, PARCC and Smarter Balanced, have developed assessments to measure students’ mastery of academic content knowledge based on the Common Core State Standards. All students, including those designated as ELLs, are required to take state level content area exams, unless they are recently-arrived LEPs.