English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century

Washington State began the administering the ELPA21 annual assessment in the 2015-16 school year. The English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) was developed by a consortium of states that use the English language proficiency standards for K-12 students.

For additional information regarding the ELPA21 consortium please visit the consortium’s website at http://www.elpa21.org/.

The ELPA summative assessment is an online assessment given to all students who qualify for English language development (ELD) services with a placement test. The ELPA21 summative assessment measures students’ English language proficiency, both knowledge and skills, in reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Results from this test determine which students are eligible to continue receiving ELD services.

The ELPA21 Screener is used to determine initial eligibility for ELD services. Like the summative assessment, this is an online assessment that measures proficiency in the four language domains of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

The Alternate assessments for language proficiency are new to Washington this year. OSPI has adopted the WIDATM Alternate ACCESS for ELLs© to assess the language proficiency of English learners (ELs) with significant in grades 1 to 12. This assessment was developed to serve this specific EL population. Kindergarten ELs with significant cognitive disabilities will be assessed using a different assessment that is still being determined. Guidance for determining ELs’ participating in an alternate language assessment.

OSPI Guidance on ELPA21 Administration for ELs with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Grade Level Score Ranges

Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)


   Updated 11/21/2017

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