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[OPI] Oral Proficiency Interview Information and Registration

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.



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 interview.


1.The DMLL OPI is provided free of charge to

Oakland University students only.


2. There are three dates in the academic year to do the

interview (below). 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 the interviews.


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.


Please, select a date for your exam. The exam takes 15 minutes to complete, but we cannot confirm the exact time for the exam until a week before the exam.

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