Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

A valid and reliable means of assessing how well a person speaks a language.

OPI logo header

The OPI is proficiency-based. It assesses the ability to use language effectively and appropriately in real-life situations. It assesses spontaneous unrehearsed language.

Official ACTFL OPI ratings can be used for a variety of purposes in academic, commercial, and government communities. In academia, speaking proficiency ratings can be used for admissions, placement into language programs, general assessments, or exit/ graduation requirements. In business and government communities, OPI ratings can be used for certification, hiring, and promotion in multilingual positions. Upon completion of an official ACTFL OPI, digital badges, indicating proficiency range achieved, are sent automatically through Credly.


Official ACTFL OPIs are currently available in the following languages (but are subject to change):

Afrikaans, Akan-Twi, Albanian, Algerian (ILR only), Amharic, Arabic (MSA), Armenian, Assyrian, Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cambodian, Cantonese, Cebuano, Chavacano, Chechen, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Egyptian (ILR only), English, Finnish, French, Ga, Georgian, German, Greek (Modern), Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong/Mong, Hungarian, Igbo, llocano, Indonesian, Iraqi (ILR only), Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Jordanian (ILR only), Kazakh, Kikongo, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Krio, Kurdish, Lao, Lebanese (ILR only), Levantine (ILR only), Lingala, Malay, Malayalam, Mandarin, Mandingo-Bambara, Mongolian, Moroccan (ILR only), Nepali, Norwegian, Palestinian (ILR only), Pashto, Persian Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Serbian/Croatian, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Sudanese (ILR only), Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Tausug, Telugu, Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Wolof, Yemeni (ILR only), Yoruba, and Zulu.

The test taker will experience the OPI in four parts:

Assessment Factors

OPI testers and raters are certified via a rigorous certification process and are required to participate in quality assurance activities such as annual calibration events, virtual office hours, benchmarking activities, and other focused rater readiness activities.

These assessment factors are not evaluated in isolation; a test taker’s language ability is holistically assessed based on the overall performance. A proficiency rating is awarded based on how all the factors contribute to the description of a speaker’s global proficiency.

Assessment Criteria - ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, Speaking

Familiarization Materials

The ACTFL OPI is designed to assess spontaneous unrehearsed language ability; ACTFL does not provide practice materials for this reason. Test takers can, however, further familiarize themselves with the test format by reviewing the ACTFL OPI Familiarization Guide.

Reliability and Validity

The ACTFL OPI is a valid and reliable assessment of speaking proficiency. Its validity and reliability have been evaluated by many studies since its development in 1982 (e.g. Dandonoli and Henning (1990); Stansfield and Kenyon (1992); Kuo & Jiang (1997); Surface & Dierdorff, 2003). ACTFL assessments also undergo regular external reviews as part of the ACE CREDIT review process. A bibliography of ACTFL’s ACE Review studies can be found here.

Become an ACTFL Certified Tester or Rater

ACTFL Certified Testers and Raters represent a critical resource to their academic institutions and to the world language profession.