What is a Level Check?
Level checks are available at any level, though the most commonly used is at ‘Advanced’, and is the one described here. If you have specific interest in a different level, please contact us.
The Advanced Level Check or “AL Check” is a valid and reliable testing method that measures whether a candidate meets the requirements of an Advanced-Low level of speaking proficiency according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines–Speaking (Revised 1999). It is a truncated version of a standard ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), a standardized procedure for the global assessment of functional speaking ability. This means it measures language production holistically by determining patterns of strengths and weaknesses within the “Advanced” range of proficiency. The interview is interactive and continuously adapts to the interests, experiences and abilities of the candidate.
The Advanced Level Check assesses language proficiency in terms of the candidate’s ability to use the language effectively and appropriately in real-life situations. It is not concerned with, nor does it address, when, where, why, or the way in which a speaker has acquired his/her language skills. The interview is conducted by an ACTFL Certified OPI Tester, who compares the candidate’s performance during the interview to the rating criteria of the Advanced-Low level of proficiency as described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines – Speaking 2012.
What is the format of the Level Check?
The test is a 10-20 minute live, telephonic interview between an ACTFL Certified Tester and a candidate, which is digitally recorded by the LTI IVR system. It resembles a conversation between two people but, in fact, follows a strict, standardized structure and elicitation protocol. The AL Check is also available in a proctor-less version.
Test content is adapted to the candidate’s professional and academic experiences, as well as any special skills or interests (following guidelines set forth by the EEOC and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act). Clients may request specific content to be included (or not) in the test. An Advanced level role play is also included and may be customized to simulate a typical, job-related situation.
How is the Level Check rated?
The outcome of the test is stated in terms of “Q” (qualified) if the candidate meets or exceeds an Advanced Low level of speaking proficiency, or “NQ” (not qualified) if the candidate’s speech does not meet criteria for Advanced-Low.
Who conducts and rates Level Checks?
ACTFL Certified Testers are the same highly specialized language professionals who rate the OPI. They have completed a rigorous training process that concludes with a tester’s demonstrated ability to consistently elicit ratable speech samples and consistently rate samples with a high degree of reliability.
ACTFL certified testers conduct Level Checks in accordance with the policies, procedures and protocol established by ACTFL. ACFTL Certified Testers agree to follow re-norming and recertification procedures, and uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in test administration and rating
How reliable is the Level Check?
The Level Checks, administered by LTI and conducted by ACTFL Certified Testers, maintain the same high degree of reliability as that of other ACTFL assessments.
How do I request a Level Check?
To schedule a Level Check, your organization will be provided with a free internet based client utility by Language Testing International – we will collect some basic administrative information and then provide access to the secure system. Using this utility, the organization can request assessments, track those requests, confirm appointments and see results.
Generally, Level Checks can be scheduled within a few working days, and results are available in one working day (for commercial Level Checks), or ten working days (for Certified).
Results of assessments are also posted and stored on the client utility website, allowing organizations to track their testing activity easily in a single location.
How is the Level Check proctored?
OPIs must be proctored by a trusted, responsible individual, ideally a member of the HR department of the organization requesting the assessment. This individual, nominated by the organizing agency, will sign a form and provide it to LTI in advance of the assessment, undertaking to guarantee the identity of the candidate and the conditions under which the test is taken.
In what languages is the Level Check available?
Level Checks are available in all the languages in which an OPI can be taken – Afrikaans, Akan-Twi, Albanian, Algerian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cambodian, Cantonese, Cebuano, Chavacano, Czech, Dari, Dutch, Egyptian, English, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong/Mong, Hungarian, Igbo, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Jordanian, Kazakh, Kikongo, Korean, Kurdish-Sorani, Lao, Lebanese, Levantine, Libyan, Malay, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marshallese, Modern Greek, Moroccan, Nepali, Palestinian, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian Croatian, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Sudanese, Swahili, Swedish, Syrian, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Tausug, Telugu, Thai, Tigrinya, Tunisian, Turkish, Turkmen, Urdu, Uighur, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Wolof, Wu, Yemeni and Yoruba.