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Oral Proficiency Interview

The Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) is a phone interview administered by certified interviewers of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Students are required to meet Advanced Low proficiency (or higher) on the OPI in order to student teach and must have met a minimum of Intermediate High before they can take LAN 319 and LAN 320. There is a 90-day waiting period between tests.

Sign up for OPI

Register (at least three weeks in advance of your desired date) at the Language Testing International website by following these step-by-step instructions. It is critical that you complete Step #8 so that ISU receives your score. French/German/Spanish Ed majors will register for the regular ACTFL OPI, not the OPIc.

Prepare for OPI

Attend an OPI orientation session, offered once per semester. Watch the LAN Teacher Ed listserv for an email announcing the date and time.

  • Learn about the structure of the OPI by referring to any number of the sites below:

  • If you do not spend at least a semester studying abroad in the country immersing in the target language, it will be critical that you take advantage of face-to-face conversations online and in-person:

    • Casa Xelaju in Guatemala where you can have about one hour of conversation for around $15. Check the site for specifics. (Spanish-only)
    • Conversation partners through TalkAbroad (French/German/Spanish)
    • For German practice with a native speaker contact this company.

Writing Assessment

Each Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LAN) teacher education student must upload a paper on a literary or cultural topic, written in the language that he or she wishes to teach. These papers may be midterm or final papers in a class taught by a LAN faculty member 300-level literature or culture class. Only on-campus instructors may evaluate papers in this way; students may not have study abroad instructors complete this rubric.

Each teacher education student need only submit one paper in this way over the course of their time at Illinois State, preferably one of the last literature or culture writing assignments before taking LAN 319 and 320. This requirement must be met before enrolling in LAN 319 and 320.

See Student Language, Literatures, and Cultures Rubric Instructions for more instructions about the writing assessment