Assessment Information Page

Testing Policy

ELSP coursework is a required, integral part of the LGS curriculum. All degree-seeking students, regardless of citizenship status or educational background, whose first language is other than English must take the Laney Graduate School English Language Proficiency Assessment or receive an exemption. This assessment is not used in the admissions process, but it is used for teaching recommendations and placement of students who need English language support. See information about accessing the assessments below.

The ELSP language assessments are conducted on Canvas (Emory’s course delivery system) and Zoom by invitation.

Upon accepting the invitation to Canvas, you will have access to ELSP Testing Course and will able to take the writing assessment and make an appointment for the oral interview. 

For Fall 2021

  • Some appointments will open up as early as June 28th
  • The deadline to complete the writing assessment and to make an appointment is August 6.
  • If you have not received an invitation and feel you would like to be tested, please contact us.

For further information, our Frequently Asked Questions page will be useful as well as the “What to Expect” section below. Please contact the director, Mackenzie Bristow at for further questions.

What to Expect

Speaking Assessment
The Initial Speaking Assessment consists of a thirty-minute recorded conversation between a trained interviewer and a student. The student’s speech sample is scored by two raters who measure patterns of strengths and weaknesses which establish the student’s level of consistent functional ability. A ranking system of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior with low, mid, and high sub-categories within each level (except Superior) is used to describe the student's oral proficiency. Based on the score, a graduate student may be required to take ELSP support courses and will receive recommendations for participating in TATTO, if needed.

Writing Assessment
The Writing Assessment requires the student to complete a one-hour essay on a designated academic topic. The essay measures writing competence and is evaluated and scored by two trained raters. A ranking system of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior is used to describe the student’s writing proficiency with low, mid, and high sub-categories within each level (except Superior). A student who scores Superior, Advanced High or Advanced Mid has no ELSP writing course requirements. A student who scores Advanced Low is recommended to take one course in the fall (ELSP 510). A student who scores Intermediate, High, Mid, or Low is required to complete a two-course sequence (ELSP 510, ELSP 511)