Assessments & Accountability

Toggle Section Menu

CELDT Test

California English Language Development Test (CELDT)

What is the California English Language Development Test?

Federal and state laws require a state test that school districts must give to students whose home language is not English. This test is called the California English Language Development Test (CELDT).

What is the purpose of the CELDT?

The purpose of this test is:

  • To identify new students who are English learners, in kindergarten through grade twelve.
  • To determine their level of English proficiency.
  • To annually assess their progress in learning English.

Who is an English learner?

An English learner is a student, with a home language other than English, who is not yet proficient in English.

Who must take the CELDT?

All students whose Home Language Survey has a language other than English on any of the first 3 questions must take the test within 30 calendar days after they are enrolled in a California public school for the first time. The CELDT also must be given once each year to English learners until they become proficient in English. Parents and guardians cannot waive the requirement that these students take the CELDT. Students who were an English Learner in a previous district will also be given the CELDT, regardless of the responses on the home language survey.

What does the CELDT cover?

The CELDT covers listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The CELDT at all grade levels is based on English language development standards, adopted by the State Board of Education.

Who gives the CELDT?

Only trained examiners give the test. The listening and speaking parts of the CELDT are given individually to each student. The reading and writing parts are given to groups of students.

How long does it take for students to complete the CELDT?

The speaking part of the test takes about 10 to 15 minutes for each student to complete. The listening, reading, and writing parts combined take about 2 hours to complete. The writing part may be divided into two sessions.

How and when do parents and guardians get their students’ test results?

As soon as the tests are scored by the test contractor, the results are returned to the school district. The school district prepares a report of the results for each student and sends it to parents and guardians.

How are the CELDT results reported for individual students?

There are five levels of English proficiency a student can achieve. They are beginning, early intermediate, intermediate, early advanced, and advanced.

The report for each student provides:

  • The overall English-proficiency level and score.
  • A proficiency level and score for each part of the test (listening, speaking, reading and writing).
  • A combined score for listening and speaking.
  • A comprehension score (average of the scores for listening and reading).

How are results of the CELDT used?

Test results for newly enrolled students are used to help identify English learners who need to develop their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in English. Results from the CELDT, which is given annually, are used to see how well students are learning English. Annual results also are used to help decide when students are fluent English proficient (FEP).

How and when do parents and guardians get their students’ test results?

As soon as the tests are scored by the test contractor, the results are returned to the school district. The CELDT Coordinator prepares a report of the results for each student and sends it to parents and guardians.

For more information…

Information about the CELDT is on the California Department of Education website.

Apply Now

Testimonials

Each of my children have different strengths and weaknesses and our Education Specialist works with us to keep the strengths going while assisting them in getting better with their weaknesses.

- Collen M., Parent
Apply Today Live Chat Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram