ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment

ALIRA logo header

The ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA) is a first-of-its-kind assessment that is based on both the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages and the Standards for Classical Language Learning. It is a four-option, multiple-choice, computer-adaptive assessment that can be delivered in a single class period.

A Proficiency and Performance Assessment of Interpretive Reading

ALIRA assesses Interpretive Reading in Latin. ALIRA uses a wide variety of texts including shorter and longer texts from ancient Rome, authentic historical documents, and modern texts from today's classical studies classrooms. ALIRA provides a performance rating that aligns with benchmark points along the continuum towards proficiency. Within the Novice level there are four such scores (represented as N-1 through N-4), within the Intermediate ranges there are five scores (I-1 through I-5), and there is one score within the Advanced range (A-1). The score reports provide an explanation of each score.

ALIRA sample score report

See sample score report

Latin is Alive and Around Us

The message of ALIRA is simple: Latin is alive and all around us. ALIRA reflects this firmly-held conviction through the wide variety of texts that it uses—from antiquity to 21st Century social media. Below is a description of some of the texts, topics, and items at each level.


  • Supporting pictures: Test takers read excerpts from stories typical of those that appear in Latin textbooks and select the image from ancient Rome that supports the excerpt.
  • Lists: Lists of tasks, chores, rules or other text from today's Latin classroom as well as those from ancient Rome.


  • Short classical texts: These are short texts that appeared in ancient Rome.
  • Short modern texts: These are texts that come from today's online Latin sources such as YouTube comments made in Latin or Wikipedia entries.
  • Dialogues: These are written dialogues excerpted from a play.
  • Video game texts: Test takers read dialogues from modern video games set in ancient Rome.


  • Longer ancient texts: These are longer, more complex texts that were written by the great authors and poets of ancient Rome.
  • Longer modern texts: These are longer, more complex texts that appear in today's online sources. They generally represent a narrative such as one might find in a news story.


ALIRA's design manifests the widely-used, highly-validated principles of proficiency and performance testing wherein test takers are given multiple opportunities to show sustained comprehension of texts whose demands and accompanying question align with author's purpose and the ACTFL proficiency scale. Because the ALIRA is computer-adaptive, the test modulates upwards or downwards based on performance. ALIRA's algorithms evaluate the performance at each level and assign a score.

The ALIRA is a valid and reliable assessment of Interpretive reading. The ALIRA was developed in alignment with a well-defined construct, following a rigorous development process. Items are revised, recalibrated, archived, or reviewed as necessary. Further, new items are added regularly, following the rigorous item development procedures.