ACCESS for ELLs is an assessment of English language proficiency, which is anchored in the WIDA English Language Development standards. All Maine students who are identified as English learners are required to participate in this annual assessment. ACCESS for ELLs measures students’ proficiency and progress in the four domains of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The assessment is administered in grades K-12.
For more information on how scores are used at the district and state level, please refer to the following document: How WIDA ACCESS Scores are Used (PDF). Please use the links below to navigate across this page.
ACCESS for ELLs is administered on-line for students in grades 1-12, and on-paper for students in kindergarten or as an accommodation to meet the unique needs of the learner. The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is the alternate English language proficiency assessment which is administered to English learners who have been identified as having significant cognitive disabilities.
Both the ACCESS for ELLs and the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs measure students’ reception and production of academic English in all four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The WIDA English Language Development (ELD) standards include the social, instructional, and academic language that students need to engage with peers, educators, and the curriculum in schools. The five ELD standards are:
- Standard 1 – Social and Instructional Language: English language learners communicate for social and instructional purposes within the school setting.
- Standard 2 – Language of Language Arts: English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of language arts.
- Standard 3 – Language of Mathematics: English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of mathematics.
- Standard 4 – Language of Science: English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of science.
- Standard 5 – Language of Social Studies: English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of social studies.
For more information on WIDA’s ELD standards and the WIDA Consortium, please visit the WIDA ELD webpage.
Interested in learning more about assessment items? Click here.
State and federal laws require that all ELLs participate in annual ELP assessments. These annual tests measure ELLs’ proficiency and progress in learning English in the language domains of Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. No student identified as an ELL may be exempted from these tests, including students with disabilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that states provide appropriate accommodations where needed, in accordance with a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). A student who has a 504 Plan, or who is covered under Title II of the ADA, is also eligible to receive accommodations.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that a state provide appropriate accommodations for ELLs with disabilities and, if an ELL has a disability that precludes assessment in one or more domains assess the student’s ELP based on the remaining domains in which it is possible to assess the student (34 CFR § 200.6(h)(4)). Determinations for a student to not participate in a specific domain must be carefully considered for each ELL, and for each specific domain.
Please reference the accessibility and accommodations supplement (PDF) for more information on ACCESS for ELLs.
- WIDA ACCESS Interpretive-Guide (PDF): The following document details the specifics regarding the significance of scores.
- WIDA ACCESS website: Please consult this resource library, provided by WIDA, for more information on WIDA ACCESS assessments.
ACCESS for ELLs Parent FAQ: