Measuring Language Proficiency

What can be truly measured? I believe that listing the units by which something is measured is essential. In language proficiency testing, there are many scales being used. Level 1 can mean many different things. I will use units of length as an analogy. MIT students got this right when they measured in smoots. In [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:03:26+00:00May 2nd, 2017|Language Proficiency|

Recommended language proficiency guidelines for employees

Bilingual employees often use the foreign language at work. The ACTFL scale gives language proficiency guidelines for different skills, and there are tests for each skill. How does each skill apply to the work duties performed at the office? The following skill descriptions are taken from the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012. The levels that are [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:03:42+00:00March 27th, 2017|Language Proficiency|

Language proficiency tests available

When an interpreter wonders what is holding them back from making progress, it can be useful to analyze the language proficiency skills in detail. Gaucha Translations proctors tests for spoken languages on the ACTFL scale by Language Testing International so interpreters and translators can analyze their strengths and weaknesses and determine how to make progress [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:09:04+00:00December 20th, 2015|Language Proficiency|

Language Proficiency self evaluation

These tools give you a way to self-evaluate your language proficiency. This link, from the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, has the option to click on different languages on the left, and on the different skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading) on the top. As you see the samples matched with the description for each level, you [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:09:24+00:00August 22nd, 2015|Interpreting Standards, Language Proficiency|

Language Proficiency Testing with LTI

First of all, why test for language proficiency? We are not generally reliable judges of our own abilities. This Wikipedia article shows that many studies reveal that we have a tendency to overestimate ourselves. The Oregon Healthcare Interpreters law requires that Qualified interpreters have proof of language proficiency. The ACTFL exam is one way to [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:17:43+00:00September 9th, 2014|Language Proficiency|

Language Skills Development

As interpreters and translators we are expected to constantly improve our language skills. This is part of our professional development. How can we do this? First, it helps to have an objective, independent evaluation of our skills. See the “Bilingual or Interpreter” page for ideas on that. Once we have been evaluated, we can target [...]

By |2017-10-14T15:58:35+00:00May 6th, 2014|Language Proficiency|

Foreign Language for Doctors?

How do we answer people who say they want to learn a foreign language so they can work with patients? There’s an interesting article online, called “Let’s not contribute to disparities” on the National Institutes of Health website. The ILR Skill Level Descriptions should help administrators and staff be able to determine the required levels [...]

By |2017-10-14T16:15:04+00:00February 11th, 2014|Interpreting Standards, Language Proficiency|