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ACTFL OPI & WPT for the SOBL

SEAL OF BILITERACY ASSESSMENTS FOR LESS COMMONLY TESTED LANGUAGES

ACTFL is proud to support the Seal of Biliteracy by offering the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) in 21 less commonly taught languages.

ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) for the Seal of Biliteracy

  • The ACTFL OPI & WPT SOBL assessments are appropriate for high school juniors and seniors (grades 11 & 12).
  • The Seal of Biliteracy forms target the proficiency range of Novice Low to Advanced Mid.
  • The ACTFL OPI & WPT SOBL assessments are available each Spring from February to May.
  • Students, parents, teachers, and schools can order the OPI and WPT from ACTFL’s Test Delivery Office, Language Testing International. Visit here to schedule a SOBL test.

Languages

ACTFL offers the OPI & WPT SOBL in 21 less commonly taught languages including:

Albanian, Amharic, Bengali/Bangla, Bosnian/Croatian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Dari, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Malayalam, Pashto, Polish, Swahili, Tamil, Tagalog, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese and Yoruba.

ACTFL's goal is to increase access to the Seal of Biliteracy for learners of less commonly taught / tested languages. If you would like to nominate a language for the next development cycle, please visit the ACTFL test development request form. ACTFL debuts new languages each Spring.

ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for the Seal of Biliteracy

The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for the Seal of Biliteracy (SOBL) assesses how well a person speaks a language. It is an assessment of the interpersonal listening and speaking communication mode. It is a 20 to 25-minute one-on-one interview between a certified ACTFL tester and an examinee. It is interactive, continuously adapting to each test-taker and their speaking abilities. The speaker’s language ability is compared to the criteria outlined in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking, and then a proficiency rating is awarded.

OPI SOBL Format

  • Phases of the OPI: The OPI begins with a warm-up which consists of greetings, informal exchanges of pleasantries, and conversation openers about topics such as family, hobbies, and school. Based on the warm-up, the OPI tester begins by asking questions that help to identify the proficiency level of the speaker.  The tester makes judgements by comparing the test-taker’s language to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking. The interview concludes when the tester identifies enough evidence to support a proficiency rating. The interview ends with a brief exchange of conversation closers.
  • Tasks & Topics: The speaker is presented with tasks and topics that represent the range of proficiency levels from Novice Low to Advanced Mid on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking.
  • Time: The average time to complete a SOBL OPI ranges from 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Format: The one-on-one interview is conducted over the phone by an ACTFL-certified OPI Tester.

ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) for the Seal of Biliteracy

The ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) for the Seal of Biliteracy (SOBL) is an assessment of functional writing ability in a language. WPT tasks address the presentational and interpersonal modes of communication. It measures how well a person spontaneously writes in a language (without access to revisions and/or editing tools) by comparing his/her performance of specific writing tasks with the criteria stated in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Writing.

WPT SOBL Format

  • Introduction and Warm-Up: The WPT introduction contains directions, information on test-taking strategies, and a warm-up activity that targets the Novice proficiency level.
  • Prompts: The ACTFL WPT includes four prompts for written responses dealing with practical, social, and academic topics that are encountered in informal and formal contexts. Each prompt contains 2 to 3 tasks.
  • Tasks & Contexts: The writer is presented with tasks and contexts that represent the range of proficiency levels from Novice Low to Advanced Mid on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Writing.
  • Prompts: The WPT SOBL prompts are written in English; the responses are written in the target language.
  • Time: The average time examinees typically take to complete all WPT prompts ranges from 30 - 40 minutes.
  • Demo: The WPT demo site can be found at: http://wptdemo.actfltesting.org/system-check-wpt/wpt-demo.html.

TEST ADMINISTRATION & DELIVERY

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