The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) fulfills federal requirements for assessing the English language proficiency of Emergent Bilinguals (EBs), formerly known as English Learners (ELs) in grades K – 12 in four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, writing. TELPAS evaluates EB performance and progress on proficiency in the use of academic English on tested domains by using the following levels: beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high.
Students in grades K-12 who have been identified as EBs are required to take TELPAS, including EBs whose parents have declined bilingual or English as a Second Language (ESL) program services. They will participate in TELPAS until their language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) determines that they are proficient in the English language and have met TEA reclassification criteria. This applies to all EBs even those who are not in a bilingual or ESL program. Once a student has met the state’s reclassification criteria, they will no longer be identified as an EB and will no longer have to participate in TELPAS. Information about the state’s reclassification criteria can be found on TEA’s Bilingual and ESL Programs webpage.
In grades 2-12, TELPAS includes two online assessments (one for reading and one for both listening and speaking) and holistically rated student writing collections. The TELPAS reading test and listening and speaking test are designed especially for students who do not speak English as their first language. These tests are made up of test questions that span a full range of English reading, listening, and speaking ability. While the beginning-level reading selections and questions include very common English words and many pictures, the advanced and advanced high reading selections and questions require a near-native understanding of English. Once students reach a proficiency rating of advanced high on the test, they have little difficulty understanding what they read in class and on state assessments of academic skills. The results in listening, speaking, and writing indicate how well students understand and use English during academic instruction.