The purpose of this document is to describe the history of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, current, official ACTFL tests and the circumstances under which official ACTFL ratings can be assigned to test taker performances.
What is the history of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and Official ACTFL Tests?
In the late 1970s, ACTFL received a grant from IFLE, Title VI of the U.S. Department of Education to develop academically oriented proficiency guidelines instead of the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Scale. The ILR scale was used in government contexts and lacked detail at the lower proficiency levels; moreover, the ILR scale uses numbers instead of names to describe proficiency levels. The resulting product was the provisional ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (1982), which were extensively reviewed by the field until 1986, when they were no longer termed “provisional.” ACTFL also worked to develop the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (ACTFL OPI ®) and a professional development workshop (The ACTFL OPI Workshop®) to provide intensive professional development to language educators interested in learning how to apply the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines in a standardized interview.