English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century
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 For more information
 about ELPA21
 in Washington state:

English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century

ELPA21 Field Test
For more information and to register please go to the ELPA21 website. Click here for information in Spanish.


There are about 100,000 English language learners (ELLs) in Washington — 9 percent of our total K-12 student population. Because knowing and using English well is necessary for success in school, it is important that students who need additional help learning English get it.

Washington has joined a group of 11 states to develop an assessment system to address their needs. The English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) is a system based on the new English Language Proficiency Standards our state recently adopted. The new tests will measure the language proficiency of ELLs as they progress through their K-12 education and achieve college and career readiness.

ELPA21 is being developed through federal grants totaling $9,080,044. It will be administered to students online, and will assess four language domains:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

It will consist of two types of tests:

  • “Screener” tests will identify students who qualify for English language development services. They will be given to all students whose families answer “yes” to questions #2 or #3 on the Home Language Survey.
  • “Summative” tests will be administered yearly to students who receive English language development services. Results from this test determine which students are eligible to continue receiving these services.

Sign up for the ELPA21 newsletter to stay informed.

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