CTB/McGraw-Hill has been the leader in the assessment market for more than 85 years. The LAS Links® suite of assessments represents the next generation of LAS®, further expanding CTB/McGraw-Hill’s continuing commitment to connect language to learning by linking assessment to reporting and instruction for all English language learners. LAS Links reflects the most comprehensive professionally-developed English language learner assessment tool in the market.

CTB/McGraw-Hill provides high quality assessments for Grades PK–12, and has been involved in language proficiency for more than 30 years beginning with the development of the Language Assessment Scales (LAS®). LAS Links is based on the tenet that second-language acquisition occurs when students have multiple opportunities to process meaning with their fellow students, teachers, and other adults in the school and elsewhere. Students process information best when that information is systematically introduced, when it is engaging, and when it is accompanied by opportunities to practice the knowledge and skills required to learn the English they will need for academic, social, and test situations. The tasks and item types in LAS Links are engaging for students and take into account their different learning styles.

In creating the LAS Links family of assessments, CTB/McGraw-Hill has applied years of second language acquisition research. This research is reflected in the types of items, topics, language usage, linguistic expectations, and scoring that are utilized in these assessments. Careful consideration has been given to distinguishing the content of LAS Links English language proficiency development from that included on English language arts achievement tests. Throughout the life cycle of a student’s acquisition of English as a second language, from beginner to fluent, LAS Links provides a measure of growth that reflects the different rates of growth evident in the ELL population.

The LAS Links assessments include a suite of programs designed to meet a variety of program needs. LAS Links consists of short placement tests, two summative test forms, Forms A and B for each grade span, one Spanish form, three parallel benchmark assessment forms, instructional guidance binders for teacher use, and professional development/training.

LAS Links: A Model for Progress Monitoring

LAS Links can be used for English language development and progress monitoring by using a combination of the LAS Links assessments. Depending on program need and intent, LAS Links provides schools and districts with the option of measuring student progress up to five times per year.

The LAS Links criterion-referenced assessment measures speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and provides a measure of comprehension skills in academic and social English derived from the listening and reading domains. Each of these domains can be administered individually for monitoring specific areas, or can be administered as a whole to provide a complete picture of students’ language abilities. LAS Links blends the assessment of English proficiency with content area knowledge, using vocabulary that is needed for success in school. A wide selection of item formats, including multiple-choice and constructed-response items, are provided, and the content is culturally relevant and motivating to students. The results link to teaching strategies and instructional guidance for teachers. The results can also assist teachers in creating remedial instruction to ensure the successful academic achievement in all English academic settings.

LAS Links Form A & B:

The LAS Links assessment is divided into five grade level spans: Primary (K–1), Early Elementary (2–3), Elementary (4–5), Middle School (6–8), and High School (9–12). There are two parallel forms, A and B, available at each grade span. They measure a wide range of skills in each domain efficiently and quickly, ranging from 10–45 minutes per subtest. With the exception of the speaking subtest, each section is group administered, making it easy for teachers to proctor.

LAS Links Forms A & B provide the following characteristics:

  • 5 language proficiency levels (Beginning, Early Intermediate, Intermediate, Proficiency, Above Proficient)
  • Scale Scores for each domain (listening, speaking, reading, writing)
  • Item Analysis

LAS Links Form A & B: Estimated Testing Time

Content AreaEstimated TimeAdministration mode
Speaking10 minutesIndividual
Listening15 minutesGroup
Reading35-45 minutesGroup
Writing35-45 minutesGroup

Scoring Options:

LAS Links Forms A & B include the following scoring and reporting options:

  • Send to CTB/McGraw-Hill for scoring. A variety of reports are included with this option. You can receive hard copy reports, as well as online reporting capabilities.
  • Local scoring using district scanners and software. TestMate Clarity® is a Windows® -based software database program that allows districts to scan and score LAS Links. The software yields reports and has an easy export feature, allowing the data to be imported into other local data management systems. Compatible scanners include NCS/Opscan and most Scantron series.
  • An online scoring tool is available to simplify the handscoring process. Simply enter the raw score results into an online interface to receive instant proficiency and scale score information.
  • Hand scoring is available. Using LAS Links student profile sheets and an interpretation guide, LAS Links can be handscored in less than 10 minutes.

LAS Links Benchmark Assessments:

The LAS Links Benchmark Assessments are divided into five grade level spans: Primary (K–1), Early Elementary (2–3), Elementary (4–5), Middle Grades (6–8) and High School (9–12). There are three parallel forms, book 1, 2, and 3, available at each grade span.

LAS Links Benchmark Assessments provide the following characteristics:

  • Raw score converted to percent correct
  • Item Analysis

LAS Links Benchmark Assessments: Estimated Testing Time

Content AreaEstimated TimeAdministration mode
Speaking5 minutesIndividual
Listening10 minutesGroup
Reading15 minutesGroup
Writing10 minutesGroup

Scoring Options:

LAS Links Benchmark Assessments include the following scoring and reporting options:

  • Local scoring using district scanners and software. TestMate Clarity is a Windows-based software database program that allows districts to scan and score LAS Links. The software yields reports and has an easy export feature, allowing the data to be imported into other local data management systems. Compatible scanners include NCS/Opscan and most Scantron series.
  • Hand scoring is available. Using LAS Links student profile sheets and an interpretation guide, LAS Links can be handscored in less than 10 minutes.

Professional Development/Training

For initial preparation time, CTB/McGraw-Hill recommends a "Train the Trainers Model." The district chooses who will be trained. Typically, an EL Specialist and an administrator from each site, as well as district office staff attend training. The training is approximately six hours. Training sessions prepare educators and test coordinators to use the test materials and provide a solid foundation for scoring each section of the assessment. Extensive review of the speaking and writing rubrics will be covered. CTB/McGraw-Hill also provides follow-up training as needed including: how to use test results, data analysis, and lesson planning.

Both basic and custom training is available on a per day basis. Up to 25 educators can attend on-site training sessions. Training includes a staff development DVD and CD which trainers can use to replicate training.

Pricing

Pricing depends on: number of EL students; number of teachers; number of schools; number of assessments per year; scoring; number of staff training days; and assessment configuration. Note: some districts will have a different benchmark assessment configuration for secondary schools versus elementary schools. Costs for the first assessment are typically higher, as all new materials must be purchased. However, many assessment materials are reusable; therefore subsequent assessments are a lower cost. Call CTB/McGraw-Hill (800.538.9547) for a price quote.