Posted: Thu, 12/26/2013 - 3:51pm Updated: Thu, 06/28/2018 - 2:54pm



Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students) requires that schools identify limited English proficient students, assess their progress in English language proficiency, and provide eligible children with services that would increase their English proficiency and their academic achievement.

The purpose of the English Language Proficiency assessments is to determine a student's level of English proficiency. A Placement Test, administered upon a student's arrival in the United States, is used to determine which English Learner (EL) services are appropriate for the student. The annual assessment, administered in January and February, is used to determine the student's current level of English proficiency. The annual assessment is also used for accountability purposes.

Accommodations for state assessments are permitted for students who are Limited English Proficient. Information regarding accommodations for students with limited English proficiency for state testing can be found in Appendix C (Accommodations Guidance) and the approved list of Bilingual Dictionaries can be found in Appendix I of the Indiana Assessment Program Manual (click here and scroll down to the “Indiana Assessment Program Manual” section).

Indiana’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver requires the state to adopt an English language proficiency assessment that is college- and career-ready and aligned to Indiana’s English language development standards. Indiana adopted the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English language development standards in October 2013. WIDA offers a comprehensive assessment system that consists of the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT), WIDA ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.

WIDA Screener and Kindergarten W-APT

WIDA Screener is the Indiana English language proficiency screener used to determine whether a student enrolling in Indiana schools for the first time is an English learner. The WIDA Screener is required to be administered within 30 days of arrival of new enrollees (Grades 1-12) or for out-of-state students who listed a language other than English on the Home Language Survey. If the student enrolls later in the year, then the W-APT/WIDA Screener will be administered within 2 weeks of enrollment. Placement tests are scored locally.

Students entering during the first semester take the WIDA Screener for the grade they have just completed; if students enter during second semester, they take the WIDA Screener for their current grade level. Students entering the first semester of 1st grade will be assessed with the Kindergarten W-APT.

How are students identified? All schools are required to administer a Home Language Survey (HLS) to identify the native language(s) of all first time Indiana enrollees. In most cases, this will be students enrolling in Kindergarten, but may also include out-of-state or immigrant students in other grades who are enrolling in Indiana schools for the first time. For students who are transferring from an Indiana school, school staff will contact the previous school to obtain the original HLS. If a language other than English is indicated for any of the three HLS questions, the student is considered to be a language minority student and needs to be assessed for initial proficiency with the WIDA Screener (or W-APT for Kindergarten and 1st semester 1st grade students). The EL Guidebook, found at, includes a sample HLS and a checklist for proper identification. For more information go to

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Summative Assessment

ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs).

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is an assessment of English language proficiency (ELP) for students in grades 1 -12 who are classified as English language learners (ELLs) and have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs assessment. For more information go to

Additional Resources


Results of the WIDA-ACCESS assessment are returned in mid-May. WIDA-ACCESS results are used to determine corporation and school-level Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives.

State, corporation, and school level WIDA-ACCESS data.

English Language Development Standards
  • Read the WIDA One Pager to learn why Indiana adopted the WIDA English language development (ELD) standards for English learners, how the WIDA ELD standards are connected to the Indiana Academic Standards, and how content area and EL educators will utilize the WIDA standards.
  • Indiana's WIDA Implementation Guide is a comprehensive resource for school and district personnel to begin interacting with the WIDA English language development (ELD) Standards Framework. The implementation guide walks you through the key components of the framework, provides valuable examples and tools, and answers many questions.
WIDA Training
  • Missed the summer trainings or want to revisit the highlights? View this one hour recap: WIDA Standards 2014 Overview

  • Introduce the WIDA standards to your staff by using the Virginia DOE ELP Standards Instructional Videos located under the instruction tab at is external). These videos demonstrate the language functions repeated throughout the WIDA ELD standards in all subject areas
WIDA Resources
  • Interested in purchasing any WIDA materials? Visit the WIDA online store to purchase materials