Pleasanton Unified School District

Special Projects » English Language Development

English Language Development

English Language Development

California English Language Development Test (CELDT)

School districts are required to test the English language skills of new students whose home language is not English and students who are English learners. Districts use the CELDT.

The purposes of the CELDT are to:


The CELDT measures English language skills in four domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

The Listening domain measures how well students can understand information heard in English. Students follow directions read aloud and show they understand information and stories read to them. In kindergarten through grade two, students are also asked to say words that rhyme with other words.

The Speaking domain measures how well students can express thoughts and answer questions in English. Students are asked to name objects and their uses, respond to questions, and tell stories based on pictures.

The Reading domain measures how well students can read in English. In kindergarten and grade one (K–1), students are asked to identify parts of a book, name letters and their sounds, and read simple words and sentences. In grades two through twelve (2–12), students are asked to choose words to complete sentences, show knowledge of vocabulary and rules about how words are formed, and show how much they understand when reading.

The Writing domain measures how well students can write in English. In K–1, students are asked to copy letters and words, write simple words based on a story read to them, and identify basic punctuation and capitalization needed in a short sentence. In grades 2–12, students are asked to show knowledge of grammar, write sentences, and write a short composition.

CELDT Test Descriptors

These documents contain the CELDT Test Performance Descriptors, which describe what students typically know and can do in English at each CELDT performance level: Advanced, Early Advanced, Intermediate, Early Intermediate, and Beginning. There are Overall Test Performance Descriptors, one set for students in kindergarten and grade one (K–1) and another for students in grades two through twelve (2–12). There are also domain-specific descriptors for each of the following grade spans: K–1, grade two, grades three through five (3–5), grades six through eight (6–8), and grades nine through twelve (9–12). The CELDT domains are Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing