Throughout the school year I am assessing my ESOL students. Often this is through short formative assessments that are integrated into activities we are already doing. To get a sense of their speaking level I will sometimes take out the WIDA speaking rubric and simply listen to students conversations and write down where they fall on the rubric. Writing is also easy to organically assess. I look at writing samples students have completed or are in the process of completing, take note of how much support they have received and again use the WIDA rubric to score.
Listening and reading are a bit more challenging to assess. When I do a read aloud and ask comprehension questions I can use the listening rubric to get a general sense of their listening levels and use the reading rubric along with anecdotal notes to get a reading level.
Sometimes I need to get a sense of how my ESOL students are doing through a more formal assessment. This gives them exposure to the format of the WIDA assessment that they take once a year and the academic testing language they will need.
I recently updated the assessments I have been using with my students this past school year. I added a color and black and white version to each assessment and changed some of the graphics. I also reviewed the upper level passages and question and in some cases increased the difficulty levels. This is partially because WIDA has increased the difficulty of its assessment. You can read more about the changes here.