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Proficiency Guidelines

The ACTFL (American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines describe performance in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in any given language. Each description is a sample of a particular range of ability, and each level subsumes all previous ones, from the most simple to the most complex. What follows is a very simplified version of these guidelines.
  • Listening
    • Novice: Able to understand some short, learned utterances. The Novice High comprehends words and phrases from simple questions, statements, high-frequency commands, and courtesy formulae.
    • Intermediate: Able to understand sentence-length utterances on a variety of topics. Content refers primarily to basic personal background and needs, social conventions and some tasks, such as lodging, transportation, and shopping. The Intermediate-High is also able to understand longer stretches of connected discourse on a number of topics pertaining to different times and places although in an uneven fashion.
    • Advanced: Able to understand main ideas and most details on a variety of topics beyond the immediacy of the situation in simple conversations or speaches that involve description and narration The Advanced Plus is able to understand the main ideas of most speech in a standard dialect; however, may fail to grasp sociocultural nuances.
    • Superior: Able to understand the main ideas of all speech in a standard dialect, including technical discussion in a field of specialization. Can follow the essentials in academic/professional settings, in lectures, speeches, and reports.
    • Distinguished: Able to understand all forms and styles of speech pertinent to personal, social, and professional needs. Texts include theater plays, screen productions, editorials, symposia, academic debates, public policy statements, literary readings, and most jokes and puns.
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Spanish Class Minnesota
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Right here in the Twin Cities:
1636 Blair Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104
651 917 3445
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Spanish Class Minnesota in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul) since 2003.