February EL Tips

Tips and Information to Help Your English Learners

ACCESS Testing Window Opens

The ACCESS for ELLs testing window in Minnesota opens on February 1.

Students at AMS and AHS will be testing during the week of February 22-26.
Students at AES will begin testing during the week of February 29-March 4.

Read below to learn more about the ACCESS.

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0

Each school year, all English Learners in Minnesota must have their English proficiency skills evaluated by a standardized assessment. We are part of the WIDA Consortium so the assessment that our students take is the ACCESS for ELLs. In the past this was a paper-based test administered to K-12 ELs. This year, students in grades 1-12 will be taking an online version of this assessment called the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. (Kindergarteners will continue to take the same assessment as before.)

The ACCESS tests each of the 4 language domains:
  1. Listening
  2. Speaking
  3. Reading
  4. Writing

The following 5 content areas, based on the WIDA standards, are assessed within each domain:
  1. Social and Instructional Language (SI) - general language and language of the classroom
  2. English language arts (LA)
  3. Math (MA)
  4. Science (SC)
  5. Social Studies (SS)

In the fall we receive official scores for each student. These scores help to inform instruction and play a part in determining whether students can be exited from the program.

Click here if you'd like to look at some sample items from the test.

Comprehensible Input

Stephen Krashen is a linguist who specializes in language acquisition and development. Comprehensible input is a hypothesis he developed which supports the idea that for students to acquire language, they must hear and understand messages that are slightly above their current proficiency level.

Though the following video is dated, it is a great way to see comprehensible input in action.

For Your Funny Bone

I'll be doing some interpreting for our Spanish-speaking families at conferences in the coming weeks. It should go more smoothly than the process in this I Love Lucy episode.
#145. Paris At Last (I Love Lucy/legendado)