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Foreign language students in French,
German and Spanish who have been accepted into the STEP program will be
required to achieve a score of 'Advanced Low' for oral proficiency in an Oral
Proficiency Interview (OPI) before they do their student teaching.
Japanese and Chinese students will be expected to achieve a minimum score of
'Intermediate High'. The rating system corresponds to the American
Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) guidelines set out on the
official ACTFL OPI website.
Students should be aware that
presently, there are two ways that OU STEP students can accomplish this
requirement: A) an ACTFL OPI, or B) by being interviewed by faculty members of
the Department of Modern Language and Literatures.
A) ACTFL OPI
The American Council on the Teaching
of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has created accepted standards for foreign
language learning in the five basic areas of language learning which are
identified as communication, culture, communities, connections and comparisons.
The OPI relates in particular to the area of oral communication. The OPI
is a standardized procedure used for the global assessment of functional
speaking ability. It is a face-to-face or telephone interview between a
certified ACTFL tester and an examinee. The tester uses specific
guidelines to determine how well a person speaks a language by comparing his or
her ability to perform specific communication tasks with the criteria that have
been created to identify ten proficiency levels defined in the ACTFL
Proficiency Guidelines. The levels range as follows:
Superior, Advanced High, Advanced Mid, Advanced Low, Intermediate High,
Intermediate Mid, Intermediate Low, Novice High, Novice Mid, Novice Low.
STEP students will be expected to achieve a minimum rating of Advanced Low
(French, German, Spanish) or Intermediate High (Japanese and Chinese).
The ACTFL OPI is a carefully
structured conversation between the certified tester and the examinee. It
is an interactive interview that continuously adapts to the speaking abilities
of the examinee. Each interview is taped by one or more certified tester,
and each Official OPI is blindly rated by a second certified tester. The
ACTFL OPI is currently used worldwide by academic institutions, government
agencies and private corporations for purposes such as academic placement,
student assessment, professional certification, hiring and promotional
qualification. Students are encouraged to study the ACTFL OralProficiency website to gain good insights into the format of the interview in order to prepare
themselves in advance for the kinds of topics, role-playing, etc., that will be
a part of their OPI.
For information concerning how to
sign up for an ACTFL OPI, click on
to the following link.
B) Department of Modern
Languages and Literatures OPI (DMLL OPI)
Although it is anticipated that
eventually all STEP students will be required to take the official ACTFL OPI,
the Oakland University School of Education and Human Services presently also
accepts internal proficiency interviews conducted by faculty members in the
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures who have attended workshops and
are familiar with the ACTFL OPI protocol, standards, methods and
guidelines. Students will be rated according to the same levels described
above, and must achieve a minimum rating of ‘Advanced Low' in French, German
and Spanish, and 'Intermediate High' in Japanese and Chinese. Students
are encouraged to study the ACTFL website for ideas on how to prepare for the
OPI is provided free of charge to
2. There are three
dates in the academic year to do the
The average time of an interview is 15-30 minutes. Please plan accordingly.
3. The student
must register at least three weeks prior to each of the dates designated for
4. In order to register, please, fill
out all the fields in the registration form below. Please, make sure to register using your Oakland University email.
5. Students can only register for
one interview at a time (to register for a second interview, the student
must have done the first interview prior to the second registration).
6. The interviewers are ACTFL/OPI
trained but not certified. If the student needs a certified result, then he or
she must contact ACTFL.
7. The average waiting period for the
result of the OPI is two weeks. The students shall be notified via email and,
if they request it, they can pick up the document with the result in the Office
of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, O’Dowd, 372.