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English Language Skills Assessment (ELSA)

Test Name: English Language Skills Assessment (ELSA)
Publisher: Out of Print
Publication Date: 1980
Test Type: Language Proficiency
Content: Reading/Writing in L2
Language: English
Target Population: English Language Learner (ELL)
Grade Level: 7,8,9,10,11,12, Adult
Administration Time: 16-30 min
Standardized: No
Purpose: District Evaluation; Language Dominance; Placement; Proficiency

The English Language Skills Assessment (ELSA) is a series of criterion-referenced reading tests measuring the understanding of meaning in a context, as well as grammatical ability. It is meant to be used in making placement decisions and uses a multiple choice cloze format. The distractors reflect mistakes made frequently by adult second language learners at each ability level. Each passage involves common situations experienced by students and encountered in most teaching materials. Scoring is done using a hole-punch answer key. The test was developed for adult resident immigrants enrolled in English as a Second Language classes and has three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. Scores on the tests place students into levels of proficiency designated as 100-800. The first seven levels correspond to levels 100-700 described in the San Francisco Community College District's revised structural curriculum for 1979. Level 700, along with level 800, also corresponds to intensive English courses preparing students for college courses in the United States. Students in these last two levels tend to score over 450 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and to score above 64 on the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP). A list of holistic descriptions of the language abilities of students at each level of proficiency are included in the testing materials. ELSA was developed using a norming sample of approximately 2000 adult students in the San Francisco area. Estimates of item reliability are in the .80s and .90s. Concurrent validity was assessed with the Listening Comprehension Picture Test (LCPT) in the high .50s and low .60s; with the Structure Tests - English Language (STEL) in the .70s and .80s; and with the TOEFL in the .70s and .80s.

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