Skip Navigation  
boy with headphones

Language Assessment

Language Assessments

Students are assessed and may be entitled to additional services if the answer to one of the first three questions on her/his “Home Language Survey” on the SFUSD Enrollment Application indicates a language other than English.  If your child speaks a language other than English and lists a dual language pathway or biliteracy as one of her/his choices, she/he may be assessed for her/his current language skills. The language assessments evaluate a child’s proficiency in the pathway language (if assessment is available).  Parents should return their enrollment application early so that EPC can schedule and conduct the appropriate assessments. Assessments are not timed and students cannot retake the language assessment.

Grades K & 1

The listening/speaking test results are used to determine eligibility of language pathways and what type of instructional support and pathway are necessary to meet the language needs of the student.

Who is assessed?

What assessments do they take?

How long?

Students who speak a language other than English. That is, any student who lists a language other than English on one of the first three questions on the Home Language Survey section of the Enrollment Application form and lists a Dual Language Immersion, Biliteracy or JBBP pathway as one of his/ her choices.

1. Pathway language tests (listening/speaking):

  • SFUSD Cantonese Placement Test (CPT)
  • SFUSD Mandarin Placement Test (MPT)
  • Pre-Language Assessment Scales (Pre-LAS) Español for grades K and 1
  • Student Oral Language Observation Matrix (SOLOM) in Korean for grades K and 1 only
  • SFUSD Japanese Placement Test (JPT)

30 minutes*

2.a. Students who have applied for the 2018–2019 school year prior to July 1, 2018 will be given the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) in listening, speaking, reading and writing at the school site in the late summer or early fall of 2018.

2.b. Students who apply for the 2018-2019 school year after July 1, 2018 will be given the ELPAC at the EPC.

2.c. Students enrolling for the 2017-2018 school year are given the ELPAC at the EPC upon enrollment.

135 minutes**

Grades 2 through 12

The listening/speaking test results are used to determine eligibility of language pathways and what type of instructional support and pathway are necessary to meet the language needs of the student.

Who is assessed?

What assessments do they take? How long?
  1. 2nd to 12th grade students who apply to elementary Dual Language Immersion, elementary Biliteracy or Secondary Dual Language Pathways and do not currently attend a SFUSD program.***
  2. 6th to 8th grade students who apply to the Japanese World Language Program which is a continuation of the JBBP FLES Pathways.

1. Pathway language tests:

  • SFUSD Cantonese Placement Test (CPT)
  • SFUSD Korean Placement Test (KPT)
  • SFUSD Mandarin Placement Test (MPT)
  • SFUSD Spanish Placement Test (SPT)
  • SFUSD Japanese Placement Test (JPT)
30 minutes*

2.a. Students who have applied for the 2018–2019 school year prior to July 1, 2018 will be given the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) in listening, speaking, reading and writing at the school site in the late summer or early fall of 2018.

2.b. Students who apply for the 2018-2019 school year after July 1, 2018 will be given the ELPAC at the EPC. 2.c. Students enrolling for the 2017-2018 school year are given

135 minutes**

* These are approximate times. The time a student takes to complete the assessment depends on the individual student. However, parents should anticipate that it will take anywhere from 30 minutes-3 hours.

** These are approximate times. The time a student takes to complete the assessment depends on the individual student. However, parents should anticipate that it will take anywhere from 1-3 hours.

** Students in 2nd grade and above who wish to enroll in a Language Pathway must have a degree of proficiency in the pathway language that is appropriate to the grade level to which they are applying.

Where does my child take the test?

  • All assessments will be conducted by the staff at the Educational Placement Center, Room 100, 555 Franklin Street or a designated school site.
  • Assessments will be scheduled and conducted prior to families receiving an assignment.

What happens after the test?

Once the test is completed and scored, the parents/guardians meet with a counselor at the EPC to discuss test results, program options, and support services. Parents will have the opportunity to change the school or program requests on their child’s application if they so choose and/or if their child is not eligible for a selected language pathway.

To obtain further assistance in understanding the language assessments, you may call the EPC to speak to an individual staff person. To reach EPC staff, please call (415) 241-6085. This phone number will direct you to an individual staff person in the following languages: Cantonese, English, Filipino, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese. The staff that provide this support include

  • Lynn Kwong – (415) 241-6085 ext. 1138 (English/Cantonese/Mandarin)
  • Tomás Beccar Varela – (415) 241-6085 ext. 1134 (English/Spanish)
  • Hans Gong – (415) 241-6085 ext. 1129 (Vietnamese)
  • Catalina Pajar - (415) 241-6085 (Filipino)

Great things are happening for our kids in San Francisco public schools.