Refugees and immigrants who are not native English speakers face significant challenges to resettlement in English speaking communities and finding employment. Refugee Federation’s participation in the LEP Pathway’s ESL services provide participants with work-related English language training to enhance their employability.
ESL instructors utilize the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) to access an individual’s English language proficiency for listening and reading, and other tests to assess speaking and writing proficiency. CASAS evaluates the level of language proficiency from a beginning level 1 through an advanced level 6 where the student will be proficient sufficient to meet most daily and employment requirements.
Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS)
ESL 1 Beginning Literacy / Pre-Beginning ESL
Listening/Speaking: Functions minimally, if at all, in English. Communicates only through gestures and a few isolated words. Reading/Writing: May not be literate in any language. Employability: Can handle very routine entry-level jobs that do not require oral or written communication in English and in which all tasks are easily demonstrated. Employment choices would be extremely limited.
ESL 2 Low Beginning ESL
Listening/Speaking: Functions in a very limited way in situations related to immediate needs; asks and responds to basic learned phrases spoken slowly and repeated often. Reading/Writing: Recognizes and writes letters and numbers and reads and understands common sight words. Can write own name and address. Employability: Can handle only routine entry-level jobs that do not require oral or written communication in English and in which all tasks are easily demonstrated.
ESL 3 High Beginning ESL
Listening/Speaking: Functions with some difficulty in situations related to immediate needs; may have some simple oral communication abilities using basic learned phrases and sentences. Reading/Writing: Reads and writes letters and numbers and a limited number of basic sight words and simple phrases related to immediate needs. Can write basic personal information on simplified forms. Employability: Can handle routine entry-level jobs that involve only the most basic oral or written communication in English and in which all tasks can be demonstrated.
ESL 4 Low Intermediate ESL
Listening/Speaking: Can satisfy basic survival needs and very routine social demands. Understands simple learned phrases easily and some new simple phrases containing familiar vocabulary, spoken slowly with frequent repetition. Reading/Writing: Can read and interpret simple material on familiar topics. Able to read and interpret simple directions, schedules, signs, maps, and menus. Can fill out forms requiring basic personal information and write short, simple notes and messages based on familiar situations. Employability: Can handle entry-level jobs that involve some simple oral and written communication but in which tasks can also be demonstrated and/or clarified orally.
ESL 5 High Intermediate ESL
Listening/Speaking: Can satisfy basic survival needs and limited social demands; can follow oral directions in familiar contexts. Has limited ability to understand on the telephone. Understands learned phrases easily and new phrases containing familiar vocabulary. Reading/Writing: Can read and interpret simplified and some authentic material on familiar subjects. Can write messages or notes related to basic needs. Can fill out basic medical forms and job applications. Employability: Can handle jobs and/or training that involve following basic oral and written instructions and diagrams if they can be clarified orally.
ESL 6 Advanced ESL
Listening/Speaking: Can satisfy most survival needs and social demands. Has some ability to understand and communicate on the telephone on familiar topics. Can participate in conversations on a variety of topics. Reading/Writing: Can read and interpret simplified and some non simplified materials on familiar topics. Can interpret simple charts, graphs, and labels; interpret a payroll stub; and complete a simple order form; fill out medical information forms and job applications. Can write short personal notes and letters and make simple log entries. Employability: Can handle jobs and job training situations that involve following oral and simple written instructions and multi-step diagrams and limited public contact. Can read a simple employee handbook. Persons at the upper end of this score range are able to begin GED prep