English Language Proficiency Assessments for California



The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is the successor to the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). Beginning in 2017–18, the ELPAC is the required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that must be given to students whose primary language is a language other than English. The California Department of Education (CDE) expects to be fully transitioned from the CELDT to the ELPAC as the state's assessment of ELP by 2018–19.

State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of ELP to eligible students in kindergarten (or year one of a two-year kindergarten program, sometimes referred to as “transitional kindergarten”) through grade twelve (ages 3-21).

For more information, visit: ELPAC Home
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Yes. English learners, and newly enrolled students who have a home language other than English, with disabilities must be tested. Students with disabilities who participate in the CELDT may use variations, accommodations, and/or modifications as specified in their individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans. A list of allowable variations, accommodations, and modifications is outlined in the "Matrix Two: Matrix of Variations, Accommodations, and Modifications for Administration of the California High School Exit Examination, California English Language Development Test, and the Physical Fitness Test," which is available on the CDE's Assessment Information Web page. Students with disabilities may take an alternate assessment if their IEP team determines that they are unable to take one or more parts of the CELDT even with variations, accommodations, and/or modifications.
The CELDT assesses students grades kindgergarten through twelve in four areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. The CELDT is aligned to the English Language Development (ELD) standards adopted by the SBE in 1999, which are available on the CDE's Content Standards web page.

The CELDT domains and test components are as follows:

Following Oral Directions
Teacher Talk
Extended Listening Comprehension
Rhyming (Grades K, 1, and 2 only)

Oral Vocabulary
Speech Functions
Choose and Give Reasons
4-Picture Narrative


Word Analysis
Fluency and Systemic Vocabulary Development
Reading Comprehension Writing

Writing (Kindergarten and Grade 1)

Copying Letters and Word
Writing Words
Punctuation and Capitalization

Writing (Grades 2–12)

Grammar and Structure
Writing Sentences
Writing Short Composition

For an overview of the CELDT, watch the CELDT Fundamentals Videos on the Educational Data Systems's CELDT Training Web page.  External link opens in new window or tab.
In accordance with Education Code Section 60810(d), one of the purposes of the CELDT is to identify students who are limited English proficient (LEP). EC Section 306(a) defines an LEP student as a student who does not speak English or whose native language is not English and who is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English.
For all students in kindergarten through grade twelve, upon first enrollment in a California public school, the LEA uses a standardized procedure to determine a student’s primary language. This procedure usually begins with a home language survey (HLS), which is completed by the parents or guardians at the time the student is first enrolled.

Once the home language determination is made, it does not need to be redetermined unless the results are disputed by a parent or guardian. If the HLS is completed in error, the parent or guardian may make a request to change it. However, once a student is assessed on the CELDT and identified as an English learner, changing the HLS will not change the student’s identification. A student’s English learner status will change only when reclassification criteria are met.

A sample HLS is available on the California Department of Education's (CDE's) English Learner Forms Web page. The State Board of Education (SBE) approved the following guidelines for interpreting the sample survey. If a language other than English is indicated on:

Any of the first three questions, the student should be tested with the CELDT.
The fourth question, the student may be test at the LEA's discretion.
For questions related to the HLS, contact the CDE Language Policy and Leadership Office at 916-319-0845.