Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs (Alternate ACCESS) is a large-print, paper-based test individually administered to students in Grades 1-12 who are identified as English language learners (ELLs) with significant cognitive disabilities. It is designed for ELLs who have disabilities that prevent them from meaningfully participating in ACCESS for ELLs Online or Paper.

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    Summative
    Audience
    U.S.
    Grades 1-12
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    Paper
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    Scale
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    Proficiency Level

    Alternate ACCESS meets U.S. federal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for monitoring and reporting ELLs’ progress toward English language proficiency.

    Key Points

    Alternate ACCESS tests student’s language in four domains: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing. Test scores can be used to inform instruction and monitor progress of ELLs in a school or district.

    • It is intended for ELLs with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
    • It is always paper-based and individually administered.
    • All domains are scored by the Test Administrator.
    • DRC processes scored tests for reporting.

    Participation

    In order to reliably assess the language proficiency of ELLs with disabilities, students’ IEP and 504 teams must determine whether the student should take one of the following, with or without accommodations:

    • ACCESS for ELLs Paper
    • ACCESS for ELLs Online
    • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

    IEP teams should follow their state's specific alternate assessment participation criteria. For additional guidance, view the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Participation Criteria Decision Tree.

    Test Administration Times

    Please note that delivery times for Alternate ACCESS vary based on student grade level, ability and modes of communication.
    Reading

    Up to 20 minutes

    Listening

    Up to 20 minutes

    Speaking

    Up to 20 minutes

    Writing

    Up to 20 minutes

    80 minutes total test time

    *The above times are approximations.

    Resources for Educators

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    Standards for the classroom that align with ACCESS for ELLs
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    Can Do Descriptors that highlight what multilingual learners can do
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    Professional learning that helps you better understand ACCESS for ELLs
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    Get resources specific to your state

    State-specific contact information and additional testing resources for WIDA Consortium members.

    Submit State Selection

    Interested in purchasing Alternate ACCESS for ELLs?

    Please see the Join Us page for how to purchase Alternate ACCESS for ELLs "a la carte" for your state or territory.

    Resources for Families

    Handout for parents explaining Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.

    Ready to get started?

    Log in to the WIDA Secure Portal to learn how to administer this assessment.