The California English Language Development Test (AKA CELDT) is the assessment given to EL/ELL/ELD/ESL students whose first (or predominant) language is not English. Home language is determined via an HLS, and after it has been determined it does not need to be questioned again unless a parent/guardian contests it. However, after a student is designated as an EL or IFEP, then challenging the HLS won't do any good because by that point the student has already demonstrated lacking significant skills in English. After that, the only way to get out of EL status is to get reclassified.

Students whose home languages aren't English are required to take the CELDT within 30 days of enrollment to their first Californian public school, and then take it again at least once a year until they either achieve English proficiency and are deemed RFEP, or until they leave high school.

The CELDT measures the four basics: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. These areas are scored 1-5 as: Beginning, Early Intermediate, Intermediate, Early Advanced, and Advanced.

The CELDT has three purposes:

    1. To identify students who are limited English proficient.
    2. To determine the level of English language proficiency of students who are limited English proficient.
    3. To assess the progress of limited English proficient students in acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English.

As of this writing, there are currently plans in place to replace the CELDT with a more intensive and holistic test called the ELPAC.