Thanks to everyone who answered the poll questions! Based on the results, we will take a walk on the proficiency path and stop along the way to smell all the flowers. I hope we visit ones that are useful for you. If not, let us know!


Step 1: Know the different levels and sublevels of proficiency.
We use the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. They have updated their website to include examples in English. Yay! There are other ones that are used for ELL classes that will give you another perspective. and

Take some time to familiarize yourself with these. We will use the ACTFL guidelines and focus on the novice and intermediate levels. Within each level, there are 3 sublevels (high, mid, low). When assessing, first decide the level (novice or intermediate), and then decide the sublevel. It is normal to be a sublevel different from someone else. We have had a few rowdy debates in the past. 🙂
We will use the following abbreviations:
I = intermediate
N = novice

H = high (shows signs of the next higher proficiency level)
M = mid (consistently meets that level)
L = low (meets that level, but not consistently)

I highly suggest taking a MOPI/OPI training or bringing in a consultant like Greg Duncan or Thomas Sauer to help understand and assess these levels. I’ve done both and found it extremely worthwhile. It helps me analyze my students’ production and find appropriate resources. I have fewer frustrated students now.

So a question for you…

What are the benefits of using the proficiency levels to measure student performance in the classroom?