Utilizing the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Level Placement

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Emily Donbeck


It is extremely important for language learners to be placed in level-appropriate classrooms for second or foreign language instruction. In order to effectively do so, instructors must be able to refer to a framework that outlines the variegated levels of language development. The ACTFL Guidelines have attempted to provide such a framework by denoting four, and sometimes five, developmental stages—Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior, and occasionally, Distinguished—for each language skill—listening, speaking, reading and writing. As a language learner becomes more advanced, more specific expectations are defined at each stage, which reflect the ultimate language goal: native-like production and utilization of the target language.

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