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ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages

COVID-19 Response

ACTFL has worked with our testing partner LTI to assemble info and resources for at-home AAPPL, ALIRA, and other Seal of Biliteracy testing which involved parent/guardian proctoring.  As these are such unprecedented and challenging times for all, please expect ongoing updates, as well as continuing improvements to these new processes.  LTI has created a COVID-19 Response Site which features up-to-date information on all remote (at-home) testing options.  Updates will be on-going, so please check back frequently.  Thank you for your patience and flexibility.

ACTFL Assessments are recognized as the gold standard. ACTFL proficiency tests are used worldwide by academic institutions, government agencies and private corporations for purposes such as: academic placement, student assessment, program evaluation, professional certification, hiring, and promotional qualification.


The ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) is a web-based proficiency and performance assessment of K-12 standards-based language learning. It assesses tasks across the three modes of communication as defined by the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. AAPPL often situates tasks within the context of today’s communication media. For example, test takers perform tasks such as participating in a virtual video chat, creating wikis, and e-mailing to demonstrate language ability.

AAPPL tasks are informed by the functions described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and ratings are assigned according to the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners. Score reports identify a proficiency range along with pinpointing a narrower performance score.


AAPPL is available in Arabic, Chinese, English/ESOL, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Modes of Communication

AAPPL places the value of communication front and center, assessing language performance and proficiency via three modes of communication. The AAPPL assesses:

  • Interpersonal Listening/Speaking
  • Presentational Writing
  • Interpretive Reading and Listening

Test Forms

AAPPL is typically appropriate for grades 5 – 12. When ordering AAPPL, selection of test forms should be based on two criteria: grade level of students and proficiency target for the course. Form A targets the novice and intermediate proficiency ranges. Form B targets the intermediate proficiency range up to Advanced Low.

  • Form A1: Middle School, Proficiency Range Goal: Novice to Intermediate
  • Form B1: Middle School, Proficiency Range Goal: Intermediate to Advanced Low (New in 2019)
  • Form A2: High School, Proficiency Range Goal: Novice to Intermediate
  • Form B2: High School, Proficiency Range Goal: Intermediate to Advanced Low
  • Form E: Grades 3-4 (Ages 8-9), Proficiency Range Goal: Novice to Intermediate

AAPPL Release date

New AAPPL content is released each year in March. Note that if you order the AAPPL ahead of March 16, you will not receive the new content even if you schedule the tests for administration after March 16.

Validity and Reliability

AAPPL's original design and test framework were based on the 2006 ACTFL Assessment of Uses and Needs, a survey of over 1,600 world language instructors and administrators regarding the assessments they used and the kinds of assessments they needed. Based on rigorous piloting and field testing and follow-on studies conducted for nearly a decade, the AAPPL represents effective practices in world language assessment.

Analyses of 9,000 test-takers demonstrate that the AAPPL can reliably differentiate examinee results according to different levels as described by the AAPPL performance scores. In addition, item difficulty parameters reflect the targeted proficiency levels.

Cox and Malone (2018) further document AAPPL rater reliability and articulate a validity argument using evidence from over 10,000 test results. For a more detailed discussion of AAPPL validity and reliability, refer to:

Cox, T.L., & Malone, M.E. (2018). A validity argument to support the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward proficiency. Foreign Language Annals, 51 (3), 548-574. Retrieved from

Test Administration & Delivery

Visit Language Testing International, the ACTFL Test Administration Office, to learn more about: