Testing & Assessment


Assessment is a critical element in language education. Well-crafted assessments provide valid, reliable, and relevant information about student progress. Assessment data can be used to inform program evaluation and instructional design to better meet the needs of language learners and the educators who serve them.

For over fifty years, CAL has been a key player in developing language tests used by many public and private agencies. CAL staff produce resources, develop tests, conduct research on language testing, and provide professional development for language teachers on assessment. Our assessment projects serve foreign and English language learners of all ages at all educational levels. This includes professional settings, such as the government and workplace.

CAL has developed and is known for a variety of assessments including 

To learn more about CAL's work and resources about this topic, browse the subtopics within this section.


WIDA Partnership


CAL collaborates with the 39-state WIDA Consortium in its work to provide standards-based assessments for English language learners, most prominently on the Consortium’s assessment of English language proficiency, ACCESS for ELLs®. The test is currently taken by over 1,000,000 students annually.



STARTALK was created in 2006 to provide learning opportunities in the critical languages for students (K-16) and professional development for teachers of the critical languages, mainly through programs offered during the summer.


CAL English Proficiency Tests


CAL English Proficiency Tests are a suite of separate English language proficiency tests developed for primary and secondary students and teachers in Latin America. The tests can be appropriately modified for use in countries where English is taught as a foreign language. 

Adult English Proficiency Assessments

BEST Literacy and BEST Plus 2.0 address the needs of adult English language learners by providing assessment options that reliably demonstrate student progress. With BEST Plus 2.0 to measure speaking and listening skills and BEST Literacy to measure reading and writing skills, programs can test all of the four skill areas.

News & Events

What Do Language Educators need to Know About Assessment?


This session focuses on what educators need to know in order to develop, implement and score effective classroom-based language assessments. Using examples from online and face-to-face courses, we will provide a framework for professional development in language assessment. View full proposal.