Professional Development Facilitated by: Jennifer McCabe, M.Ed. Malden Public Schools ELLInstructional Coach


​WIDA Screener Update for 2017-18​​

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year the WIDA Screener is the new English language screening tool for the 2nd semester of 1st grade-12th grade. For these grades, the WIDA Screener replaces both the MODEL and the W-APT screening tool.

The WIDA screener, in online and paper format, is a newly developed placement test aligned to WIDA's standard setting.

The online version will function similarly to the online version of ACCESS 2.0, using the WIDA AMS website and DRC software components. However, the online system will only score the listening and reading domains.

Writing and speaking will be scored by local district staff.

See a table below for grade specific information about the screener.

​2106-2017 (Old)
​2017-2018 (New)
​1st semester of Kindergarten
​WIDA MODEL (listening and speaking)
​WIDA MODEL (listening and speaking)
​2nd Semester of K-1st Semester of 1st grade
​WIDA MODEL (all four domains)
​WIDA MODEL (all four domains)
​2nd Semester of 1st grade - 12 th grade
​WIDA Screener (online and paper)
Screening for English Language Proficiency

WIDA Screener:

The Entry Task and Speaking test are administered individually and scored by the Test Administrator during administration. The Writing, Listening, and Reading tests may be administered individually or as a group, and are scored after administration.

Note: For Grades 1 and 2–3, WIDA recommends individual administration of Screener for all domains.

WIDA Screener Paper administration diagram. Path A and Path B.
WIDA Screener Paper administration diagram. Path A and Path B.

The purpose of this assessment is to help educators make decisions about whether a student is a
candidate for English language support services.

WIDA Model:


The approximate administration times for each section of the test are as follows:
Test Section
Approximate Administration Time
Up to 15 minutes
Listening Step 1 and Listening Step 2
Up to 30 minutes
Writing Part A
1 minute
Writing Part B
Up to 25 minutes
Reading Step 1 and Reading Step 2
Low: up to 20 minutes

Mid: up to 25 minutes
High: up to 25 minutes

MA DESE Testing info for ELLs

Recommended Periods of English Language Instruction

ELLs must receive ESL instruction and language support consistent with their individual needs for rapid and effective acquisition of English language proficiency. See G.L. c.71A, § 1. For example, Foundational students should receive proportionally more ESL instruction than those at higher proficiency levels. The comparability study described above has necessitated a revision of the recommended periods of ESL instruction based on each student's ACCESS 2.0 results. Please review the revised guidelines below which districts should consider when determining the amount of instructional time for ESL support that is tailored to each student's linguistic and academic needs.
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Overall Score
Recommended Periods of ESL Instruction
Levels 1.0-2.5
At least two to three periods (a period is not less than 45 minutes) per day of direct ESL instruction, delivered by a licensed ESL teacher
Levels 2.5-3.5
Districts may use their discretion to determine the amount of ESL instruction provided to students between Levels 2.5-3.5, either at the Foundational or Transitional level, depending on each student's needs.
Levels 3.5-4.2
At least one period (not less than 45 minutes) per day of direct ESL instruction, delivered by a licensed ESL teacher
Districts should note that recommended ESL instructional time may fluctuate depending on the educational needs of ELLs enrolled in language instruction programs.

Information from the WIDA Consortium about changes to the 2017 ACCESS score scale and the likely effect of these changes on students' scores is located at:

Equivalent Proficiency Levels on ACCESS 1.0 and 2.0

Overall Proficiency Levels
ACCESS 1.0 Score
ACCESS 2.0 Equivalent Score
Level 2.0
Level 1.8
Level 3.0
Level 2.5
Level 4.0
Level 3.5
Level 5.0
Level 4.2

Criteria for FEL... "FLEP"

New Transitional Exit Criteria and Equivalent Proficiency Levels on ACCESS 1.0 and 2.0

The new transitional exit criteria for ELL students, based on the 2016-2017 ACCESS 2.0 results are as follows:
To be eligible to exit ELL status, a student must have attained at least the following scores on ACCESS 2.0:

  1. An Overall Score of Level 4.2; and
  2. A Composite Literacy Score of Level 3.9

==Why is an English language proficiency test required?==

Do parents need to be notified of screening results?

Can parents refuse services even if their child tested as limited English proficient (LEP)?

Screening Preschool-Age Children

Screening Kindergarten Children

Formal Request Form for English Language Proficiency Assessment:

Formal Request Form for Language Acquisition Team Meeting (L.A.T.) Form Grades K-2

Formal Request Form for Language Acquisition Team Meeting (L.A.T.) Form Grades 3-5