About the Avant SHL Test

Vocabulary, Reading, Contextualized Grammar, Writing and Speaking

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Assessing the literacy level of Spanish Heritage speakers for placement is a critically important, but challenging task for heritage language programs.

This online Spanish test quickly and accurately places learners into appropriate courses by highlighting each test taker’s strengths and weaknesses in key academic language areas that are unique to Spanish heritage speakers. The Avant SHL Test measures vocabulary, grammar, verb use, spelling, and speaking and writing proficiency in Spanish that is appropriate for the wide range of Spanish spoken in the US.

The Avant SHL test identifies less proficient students quickly and allows them to exit the test early, while more proficient students take the entire test to gather the data necessary to accurately place them.

This placement test was developed at the University of Houston by Dr. Marta Fairclough and a team of Spanish heritage language experts and is delivered by Avant through an exclusive license with the University of Houston.


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Award Credit

The Avant SHL Test can be used for awarding credit in Spanish Heritage Language programs making it easy to recognize students for their achievements and verify their language proficiency level.

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Improve Student Outcomes

With accurate course placement and detailed reporting, including a dashboard of demographic data and scores, the Avant SHL Test helps improve student outcomes by ensuring students are placed in appropriate courses.

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Place with Confidence

The Avant SHL Test provides suggested placement levels based on each student’s results. Writing and speaking responses are available through an online dashboard for review, making borderline student placement decisions easier and quicker.

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Three-Stage Adaptive Test

The Avant SHL Test is a three-stage test with early placement points that allows lower-level speakers to be placed quickly and higher-level speakers to move on to advanced writing and speaking items.

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Fast and Easily Accessible Results

Vocabulary, Reading, and Grammar results are available online immediately, and the Writing and Speaking responses are scored by Avant Certified Raters in 3-5 business days.

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Cross-Device Solutions

All of Avant’s testing products are compatible with most browsers and devices, including iPads (iOS version 12+) and Chromebooks, to give you more flexibility when testing.

Note: iPads/tablets may not be used with AvantProctor. Test takers must have a computer, laptop, or Chromebook for this service.

The SHL is an awesome test that provides us with just the sort of information we are looking for to make placement and proficiency decisions here at McMinnville High School. Plus we use it to assess and place 8th grade students who have dual language immersion experience.

Mark Hinthorn Assistant Principal, McMinnville High School, McMinnville, OR

User Guide Resources

Already testing with Avant SHL? Avant offers all the materials necessary to ensure your testing goes as smoothly as possible, from setting up the technology to viewing your reports.