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Test of English Language Learning, or TELL™, is a tablet delivered language proficiency assessment that can be used to screen, diagnose, and progress monitor English language learners in grades K-12. TELL uses state-of-the-art technology that enables highly efficient, consistent and objective scoring on four foundational skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, as well as seven sub-skills in three grade-bands: pronunciation, fluency, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and pre-literacy, reading rate and reading comprehension. Standards Alignments were conducted by TELL who partnered with external experts and trained coders to align TELL and the ELD/P standards of California, Arizona, Texas, and WIDA. The Standards Alignments show how much overlap there is between a state's ELD/P standards and those used in TELL. Administration of TELL takes less than 30 minutes and produces reliable, at-a-glance information and accurate reports that help educators identify which students qualify for ELL programs.


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TELL helps meet key ESSA requirements for ELLs

Under ESSA, English language proficiency is one of the academic indicators that comprise a state’s accountability system. The academic indicator for the ELL student group required in a state’s ESSA application is commonly called the ELL Progress Indicator and is typically defined as the percent of ELLs that moved up at least one performance level on the state’s ELL summative assessment (e.g. WIDA, CELDT, TELPAS, etc.) from prior year to current year, plus the percent of ELL students reclassified as fluent English proficient.

States’ ESSA applications that include English language proficiency as one of the academic indicators require ELLs to make progress towards English proficiency. ELL progress is typically determined using two data sources: (1) the state’s summative ELL assessment and (2) reclassification data. A state’s summative ELL assessment is used to measure ELLs’ annual progress toward English proficiency. Having only one data point to measure progress – the state’s ELL summative assessment score – doesn’t provide critical data on ELLs’ progress during the year needed to inform instruction. TELL is used to measure ELLs’ progress throughout the year, producing valuable reporting data to inform instruction. TELL could also be used by districts/LEAs as a standard English language proficiency assessment to reclassify ELLs as fluent English proficient (RFEP) during the year. Current criteria for reclassification vary by state and local districts/LEAs.

Districts/LEAs and schools will benefit from having an ELL proficiency and progress monitoring assessment like TELL (which assesses 4 skills just like most state ELL summative assessments) that:

  • measures ELLs’ progress toward English proficiency during the school year,
  • uses automated scoring technology to provide immediate results to inform instruction and impact learning, and
  • is aligned to, and predictive of, the state’s ELL summative assessment

TELL dovetails with ESSA’s requirements and goal to help ELLs’ make progress towards English language proficiency, increase ELLs’ access to curriculum, and make a difference in ELLs’ success.