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ELPAC

Use ELPAC performance-based, standardized assessments to ensure your students’ Spanish, French, or German language proficiency.

Choose from multi-level online assessments in Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking that can be administered individually or as a battery.

Developed with input from language teachers and school administrators, ELPAC assessments meet the highest standards for reliability while offering flexibility and ease in delivery.

At last, a real-world measure of language proficiency. We're now using the assessments at high schools across our entire district to ensure consistent standards.
 
ACTFL

Developed by researchers and field-tested by teachers, ELPAC online instruments measure second language proficiency in Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking at high school and early college levels. Currently available for Spanish, French, and German, the ELPAC battery is fully aligned with guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

PERFORMANCE-BASED

LET YOUR STUDENTS SHOW WHAT THEY KNOW.

ELPAC content features contextualized tasks that place students in realistic situations where they need to use the target language. Practice items, easy-to-use formats, and lively graphics help students feel at ease and ready to show what they can do with the language.

Developed by Researchers

Rely on researched methodologies.

The ELPAC battery is an initiative of the Assessment Project at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota. In developing, revising, and producing the instruments, researchers worked in close collaboration with faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota as well as the state’s K-16 language teachers. Reliability coefficients from data collected to date are all in the acceptable range.

Field-Tested by Teachers

Administer assessments with ease.

Reworked and refined based on input from teachers and administrators, the ELPAC battery meets the highest standards for reliability while also providing the ease of use and flexibility teachers need. Assessments are completed online, and tasks are authentic and varied. The Reading and Listening assessments are auto-graded, while the Writing and Speaking assessments are teacher-graded online with the help of training modules.

Multi-Functional

Work it your way.

Depending on your needs, ELPAC can be administered as a full battery or in the four individual skill areas. Passing cut scores can be calibrated to your school or district’s needs. In addition to assessing student language proficiency, the ELPAC battery can provide important benchmark data for your classroom, school, or district. Assessments can be used to benchmark language skill levels at the start of the semester/year, at the end of the semester/year, or to assess AP readiness. The assessments can also be used across school within the same district to ensure consistent standards.

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Teachers and Students
ELPAC Computer

Designed for ease of administration at your school’s computer lab, the ELPAC battery provides an engaging and secure assessment process while meeting the highest standards of reliability.

Online

All you need is a computer lab—and students.

The online format of the ELPAC instruments allows you to assess language skills in the most direct manner possible while ensuring practicality of administration and scoring. Access to ELPAC is granted using your computer lab’s IP address along with the timeframe for testing. The assessments are housed on a secure server, and students cannot re-access the assessments once they have completed them. Headsets are needed for the Listening assessment, and microphones are needed for the Speaking assessment.

Reading and Listening assessments provide immediate, automatic scoring for both the student and teacher. Writing and Speaking assessments are graded by the teacher using online guidelines and examples (link to Rater Training Modules) to ensure consistent evaluation.

Flexible

Use one, all, or any combination.

Whether you need to test an individual student or a group, ELPAC assessments can be administered as a battery, singly, or in any combination of the four individual skill areas. Passing cut scores can be calibrated to your school or district’s needs. In addition to assessing student language proficiency, the ELPAC battery can provide important benchmark data for your classroom, school, or district. Assessments can be used to benchmark language skill levels at the start of the semester/year, at the end of the semester/year, or to assess AP readiness. The assessments can also be used across schools within the same district to ensure consistent standards.

Engaging

Your students will want to show what they know.

ELPAC assessments feature contextualized tasks that place students in realistic situations where they need to use the target language. Practice items, easy-to-use formats, and lively graphics help students feel at ease and ready to show what they can do with the language.

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Students

Here you will find answers here to frequently asked questions about our language proficiency assessments. We also invite you to contact us directly for further information. You may reach us by phone at 800-328-1452 or by email at educate@emcp.com.

Q: What is ELPAC?
A: ELPAC is an acronym for EMC Language Proficiency Assessments by CARLA, a battery of high-quality, proficiency-based second language assessment tools for Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. Assessments are currently available for Spanish, French, and German at two levels on the scale outlined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Q: What are the technology requirements for administering ELPAC instruments?
A: The system needs Firefox or Safari, FLASH 9 or above, and the URL of the online ELPAC must be enabled or white listed so a Firewall will allow access. http://s3.amazonaws.com also needs to be white listed since this is where the test is housed. You will also need headsets for the Listening Proficiency Assessment, and internal/external microphones for the Speaking Proficiency Assessment.
Q: How much time are students allowed to take the assessments?
A: The Writing, Reading, and Listening assessments all allow 50 minutes for the students to finish, providing time for each segment in the Listening assessment to be heard twice. The Speaking assessment allows 27 minutes for students to respond to seven, one-minute prompts. For special needs students, additional time may be added by the administrator.
Q: Should I familiarize my students with the ELPAC questions before they take the test?
A: No. The ELPAC battery measures proficiency. Revealing test questions prior to administering the assessment would likely result in inaccurate measures of student proficiency levels. If your students have been studying the target language in a classroom that focuses on proficiency, they should be well prepared to complete the assessment tasks.
Q: Are supplemental materials allowed while students take the ELPAC?
A: No support resources are permitted. ELPAC instruments are designed to assess what students can do with the language they have learned. The assessments are not focused on specific vocabulary or phrases. Instead, tasks focus on main points, general meaning, and sequential order, as per ACTFL standards. It should be noted that time spent looking up vocabulary, grammar, or usage takes away from reading or listening and tends to hurt student performance.
Q: Do students need to complete the entire ELPAC battery during one session?
A: No. Individual assessments for Reading, Listening, Writing, or Speaking must be completed within one testing session, but the entire battery should be taken over more than one class period.
Q: Are students allowed to work collaboratively on ELPAC?
A: No. ELPAC was designed to assess the proficiency of test takers individually. Allowing students to collaborate would not yield an accurate assessment of the test takers.
Q: Where can I find the grading rubric for ELPAC?
A: Grading rubrics are accessible online while you review your students’ responses to the test questions. They are part of the ELPAC Grader Interface. Grading rubrics are also featured on our Rater Training Module.
Q: Could ELPAC instruments be used as a final test for my language class?
A: Yes. ELPAC instruments are ideal if you are looking for language proficiency as an end of study/semester/year assessment where students are approaching or are at the Intermediate-Low level per ACTFL guidelines. In Minnesota, students passing at the Intermediate-Low level are eligible for the Minnesota Department of Education World Language Proficiency Certificate.
Q: How should I introduce ELPAC to my students before they take the test?
A: Assessment items and activities focus on realistic situations and general topics, requiring students to use specific language skills. No student preparation for the assessments is needed.
Q: How do I know which assessment level my students should take?
A: For reference, all ELPAC instruments are ACTFL-aligned.
  • The Speaking Proficiency Assessment is designed to determine if students are proficient at the Intermediate-Low level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for the purposes of articulation and fulfilling language study requirements. This is the minimum target level for students who have completed at least three years of continuous language study at the secondary level, or for post-secondary students who have completed 120 contact hours of language study (or an equivalent combination of secondary and post-secondary instruction).
  • The Writing Proficiency Assessment was developed for the purpose of certifying the second language proficiency of secondary and post-secondary students. It measures written proficiency at the Intermediate-Low and Intermediate-Mid levels of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. The Intermediate-Mid level for Writing is appropriate at the end of two years of post-secondary language study or the equivalent.
  • The Intermediate-High level for Reading and Listening is appropriate at the end of two years of post-secondary language study or the equivalent.
Q: I can’t hear the audio samples for the Speaking assessment. What can I do?
A: The volume for the audio samples can be controlled with the volume button on the left side of the audio player. Also, make sure that FLASH 9 or above is installed and that the URL of your online ELPAC is enabled or white-listed so a Firewall will allow access.
Q: Where do I get my students’ scores? How do I grade ELPAC assessments?
A: Before you use ELPAC, take time to work through grading student samples using the Rater Training Modules.You will rate your students’ Speaking and Writing assessments on your school's testing site using the ELPAC Grader Interface. Reading and Listening assessments are scored automatically. Scores are displayed at the end of the assessments, and you can download scores in spreadsheet form using your school administrator’s site.
Q: Do I need to be in the room while students take the ELPAC?
A: Yes. The testing environment for ELPAC assessments should replicate the setting for any other major, standardized test. In addition to watching students closely, you should instruct students to put away all electronic devices and supplemental materials. Securing the testing environment safeguards the information in the test and ensures an accurate assessment of the students’ abilities.