New Assessment for English Learners is 4 Years in the Making

New Assessment for English Learners is 4 Years in the Making
Posted on 02/02/2018
Meeting presenter shares information about new tests

Starting in February, students identified as English Learners will be tested in the new English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). The assessment represents a milestone in the state when it comes to English proficiency.

Federal and state law require a state English language proficiency assessment that school districts must give to students who are English Learners (ELs). For the past four years, the District has been preparing and training teachers, principals, and support staff on the English Language Development (ELD) standards adopted in 2012.

All students who are ELs in grades Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through Grade Twelve in the Chula Vista Elementary School District will take the ELPAC. The four areas that are assessed in English are: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.


“Academic English proficiency is important for students to be college and career ready,” said Emma Sanchez, CVESD executive director, language and instruction service and support. “Our ELs receive the language and academic support they need to do well in English language Parents learn about new tests for English Learners at CVESD workshoparts/literacy, mathematics, science, and other subject areas in school. ELPAC is the test used to measure how well students understand English. Information from the ELPAC tells a child’s teacher about the areas in language and literacy in which the student needs extra support.”


Parents of English learners have been actively engaged in ways to support their children. For example, a September training drew more than 200 parents of English Learners to learn about the new assessment. Parents took part in learning activities that mirrored the ELPAC assessment. Through these activities, parents learned about what the ELPAC is about and compared the new assessment to the state’s former test for English learners.


Below are recommendations to support students at home:


  • Read to your child or have your child read to you on a regular basis.
  • Use pictures and ask your child to tell you what he or she sees, or what is happening in each picture.
  • Provide your child with opportunities to use language outside of school.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher about his or her listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to help support your child’s progress.

To learn more about the ELPAC, please read the Parent Guide to Understanding the ELPAC, which can be found on the CDE Parent Guide to Understanding the ELPAC Web page at


Click here to view overview videos about the ELPAC in English and Spanish.

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