Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System

What is TELPAS?

TEA designed the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) and TELPAS to assess the progress that limited English proficient (LEP) students, also referred to as English learners (ELs), make in learning the English language.

TELPAS is taken in kindergarten through grade 12 in four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

TELPAS assesses students in alignment with the Texas English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), which are part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The ELPS proficiency level descriptors (PLDs) present the major characteristics of each language proficiency level in each language domain. The PLDs define how well ELs at the four proficiency levels are able to understand and use English in grade-level academic settings.

Student performance is reported in terms of four English language proficiency levels: beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high.

What are English Learners tested on and when?

English Learners are assessed with Proficiency Level Descriptors (PLD's) holistically for Kindergarten - 1st grade for Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing every spring.

Grades 2 -12 take a computer based Reading assessment and Listening/Speaking assessment at separate times in the spring. Writing samples are taken for a 3-4 week period and are holistically scored by a campus committee of trained teachers who have calibrated by way of their own assessment from the state.

What do the TELPAS results look like?

TELPAS results come back as a rating in each of the 4 Domains of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

The ratings are:

  • Beginning (Little or no English ability)
  • Intermediate (Limited ability, simple language structures, high-frequency vocabulary, routine contexts)
  • Advanced (Grade appropriate, with second language acquisition support)
  • Advanced High (Grade appropriate, with minimal second language acquisition support)

The 4 Domains are then combined into a composite score with an overall rating for each EL student.

What are the TELPAS results used for?

  • To help parents monitor the progress their children make in learning English.
  • To inform instructional planning and program exit decisions for individual students.
  • To report performance to local school boards, school professionals, and the community.
  • To evaluate programs, resources, and staffing patterns.
  • To evaluate districts and campuses in a variety of state and federal accountability measures.

Yvette Paredes-Gonzales, M.Ed., Bilingual & ESL Specialist