CELSA Frequently Asked Questions:

Description of test

CELSA consists of two different forms with passages from beginning, intermediate and advanced
levels. The forms are equivalent and designed to measure understanding of meaning in a
context, as well as grammatical ability. CELSA was developed for the purpose of placing adult
students of English as a Second Language (ESL) into different language ability levels in
ESL courses.

The forms utilize a 75 question, four-choice multiple choice cloze format. Students do no
writing. The distractors (wrong choices) 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.

CELSA will place students into seven levels of proficiency from low beginning to advanced
plus. Cronbach Coefficient Alpha reliabilities for CELSA 1 and CELSA 2 are high: .95,.95
and the forms correlate .90. Suggested cut-off scores for a seven level program are 1-20,
21-30, 31-39, 40-48, 49-57, 58-66, 67-75. The CELSA Userís Guide provides descriptions
of the seven levels. ESL programs modify the cut-off scores to fit their curriculum and
number of levels offered.

Intended Audience

CELSA can be used to test students in open enrollment adult education, community college,
university, and high school English as a second language or foreign language programs.
CELSA measures language skills, primarily reading and grammar in a context. CELSA is not
a life skills discrete point test measuring students abilities to read a thermometer, a pricetag, etc.
CELSA places students into multiple skill, grammar (structure), and reading ESL
classes. Many colleges have also reported a high correlation between the CELSA score and
holistically scored essays, allowing for CELSA scores to also place students into ESL writing courses.
CELSA is not suitable for pre-literate students.

Frequently asked questions

Who can take the test?
Adults and high school students in programs using ESL/EFL materials.

How long is it?
Instructions: 15 minutes; test: 45 minutes; scoring: seconds.

What materials are needed?
Test booklets, answer sheets, pencils, timer, answer keys. Dictionaries are not allowed.

When to test again?
After 2 1/2 months for the same form. Otherwise, use alternate forms.

Is form 1 easier?
No, form 1 and form 2 are different, but equal.

Are the tests reliable and valid?
Yes. In addition, the tests have been researched and shown to be free from language,
culture, gender and age bias.

Can we go over the answers with the students?
No. Standardized tests are not teaching tools. The validity and reliability of the tests
will be destroyed. Also, do not return corrected answer sheets to students.

Can we change or adapt the test passages or items?
No, these tests have taken years to develop. It is not legal, to change the test items.

What kind of computer options are available?
There are a few computer options available. You can scan and score paper/pencil tests or
run the CELSA on PC computers (Window's program). You can even integrate both
types of test results into common student databases that you can create and use to produce
customizable reports for a complete assessment and placement system. (more information)

please feel free to contact us at ACTT

Association of Classroom Teacher Testers
Phone (805) 965-5704 FAX (805) 965-5807
1187 Coast Village Rd. Suite 1 #378
Montecito, CA 93108

ACTT Homepage
Price List for CELSA Description
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