LAS Links Assessments—Early Learners

preLAS: English Language Proficiency Assessment for Early Learners

  • The preLAS 2000 proficiency assessment consists of an Oral language component and a
    Pre-Literacy component
  • May be used to assess students ages 3 to 6
  • Test results may be used to:
    • Identify incoming students
    • Place second language learners in appropriate classroom settings
    • Monitor student progress along the stages of language acquisition
    • Report language acquisition/skills in early childhood dual language programs
    • preLAS provides a standardized language proficiency measure for all students

Introduction to preLAS

  • There are 5 subtest components utilized to report Oral language scores
  • Included Pre-Literacy component (separate score for students)
  • Individually administered – approximately 15 minutes per student
  • Forms Available: 2 in English, 1 form in Spanish
  • preLAS reports five performance levels ranging from levels 1 (non-English Speaker) to level 5 (Fluent English Speaker)
  • Each level is further broken down into total scores, used to measure progress over time
  • Student performance profile sheet is included in the preLAS testing kit

preLAS Kit Contents

  • 50 Student Answer Sheets
  • 1 CD or Audio Cassette
  • 1 Cue Picture Book
  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Examiner’s Manual
  • 1 Quick Reference Guide

preLAS Subtest Descriptions

Part 1: Simon Says: this section tests receptive language, listening comprehension, following directions, and total physical response (TPR). This section utilizes simple directives typically encountered in early kindergarten classrooms.

Part 2: Art Show: this section assesses expressive language and utilizes graphic stimuli to elicit labels for a number of concrete nouns. The lexical items assessed in this subtest include concrete nouns and single-word responses. This section of the test shows a student’s ability to produce oral vocabulary and verb phrases at appropriate levels of development.

Part 3: Say What You Hear: assesses the student’s receptive and expressive abilities with morphological and syntactical features and focuses on grammatical features.

Part 4: The Human Body: this section of the test asks students to name 10 parts of the human body and focuses on lexicon commonly acquired by native-speaking children.

Part 5: Let’s Tell Stories: assesses expressive language and represents an integrative approach to language testing. Students demonstrate their ability to produce complete sentences, retell simple narration with picture cues.

Scoring preLAS

  • Parts 1-4 are scored using a number correct recorded the bottom of each subtest
  • Part 5 is scored using the rubric found on page 26 of the Examiner’s Manual
  • Scores are tabulated on the front of the student answer sheet
  • Proficiency Level and Total Score reporting

Pre-Literacy Component

  • Pre–literacy skills are assessed with a fun board game that is designed to capture receptive and expressive language skills in action.
  • As the teacher helps the student move around the board, these skills are assessed:
    • Upper and lowercase letter recognition
    • Number recognition and concepts
    • Color recognition
    • Shapes and spatial relationships
    • Reading two– and three–letter sight words
    • Writing name, age, and two– and three–letter sight words

preLAS Observational Assessment

Improve young students’ success in primary school years with the preLAS Observational Assessment.

  • Teachers of 3 year olds can now systematically observe, record, and monitor a child’s oral language and early literacy.
  • The preLAS Observational Assessment helps these practitioners measure the language development of first- and second-language students in both English and Spanish.
  • Information that the preLAS Observational Assessment yields for teachers is used instructionally for individual children, as well as aggregated across classes to provide an overall evaluation of the language abilities of children within a specific school or program.
  • Teachers can build a profile of abilities that a child has already developed. Additionally, teachers can document the abilities that are emerging, and those abilities that have yet to emerge.

There is a growing trend to assess the language proficiency of children at an earlier age before the child reaches a formal academic classroom.

  • Compare observational results of students’ language skills with fluent native speakers.
  • Observational assessment data can be used by teachers for instructional planning, program evaluation, or sharing with the child’s parents or guardians.
  • The preLAS Observational Assessment is informed by recommendations by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC).