Revised ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines Released


ACTFL is proud to announce the release of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2024 (the Guidelines). The 2024 revisions improve clarity and accessibility and enhance the utility of the Guidelines by aligning them to key documents, such as the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners, and the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements.

The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, first released in 1986, are widely recognized as the global gold standard for assessing functional language ability in both academic and workplace settings. The Guidelines describe an individual’s language skills in terms of proficiency: the ability to use language to accomplish communication objectives. They portray language proficiency in four domains: speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

In addition to aligning the revised Guidelines to key world language documents, the main foci of the revisions to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 include:

  • Improved consistency in the wording of descriptors across domains,
  • Removal of negatively worded and exclusionary language, and
  • Addition of an overview document, which features the newly redesigned ACTFL inverted pyramid.

“Nearly 1,000 ACTFL members representing a wide variety of languages, levels of instruction, and institutional contexts participated in the revision process,” said Dr. Margaret Malone, ACTFL Director of Assessment and Research. “We are so grateful for the thoughtful feedback and engagement throughout the process. We are confident that the revised Guidelines will support educators’ and learners’ proficiency journeys for many years to come.”