Proficiency Scale

Nomen Global Language Centers

 

Language Proficiency Scale–Grammar

Level 1

(Novice Low-Mid)

Level 2

(Novice High/Int. Low)

Level 3

(Intermediate Low/Mid)

Level 4

(intermediate Mid/High)

Level 5

Int High/ Advanced Low

Level 6+

Advanced Low/ Mid

Grammar (in oral or written communication)
-Produces simple sentences accurately in present, past, and future simple aspects in response to discrete yes/no questions.

-Produces accurate responses to discrete information questions beginning with where, what, and whose, using correct verb forms.

–In all cases involving accurate production of simple sentences, relies almost solely on learned material, high-frequency expressions, and memorized chunks within predictable topics to construct responses.

-While memorized expressions with verbs and other short phrases may be accurate, inaccuracies with other grammatical structures are common.

-Other than with formulaic expressions, does not successfully create at the sentence level with sustained grammatical accuracy.

-Little control of grammatical accuracy in unstructured written or oral communication

-Emerging, but inconsistent ability to accurately produce simple sentences in present progressive and simple past progressive aspects, in expressing ideas using the modal auxiliary verbs can, could, should, have to, and must, in both positive and negative contexts, in making comparisons, and in the use of adverbs and quantifiers.

-Employs correct verb forms within memorized or formulaic phrases.

–In most cases involving accurate production of simple sentences, dependence upon learned material, high-frequency expressions, and memorized chunks within predictable topics is evident when constructing responses.

-Limited control of grammatical accuracy in unstructured written or oral communication

-Partial to adequate control when dealing with present and past simple and progressive verbs

-Emerging control of irregular past time verb forms, future time clauses with will and be going to, and could to describe past ability

-Partial control of modal auxiliary verbs when responding to requests for advice

-Partial control of structures for making comparisons

-Emerging control of coordinating conjunctions when combining sentences

–In cases involving accurate production of simple sentences, some dependence upon learned material, high-frequency expressions, and memorized chunks within predictable topics is evident when constructing responses.

– Some control of grammatical accuracy in unstructured written or oral communication

-Adequate control of grammatical accuracy in unstructured written or oral communication involving predictable topics and grammatical structures presented in Levels 1 and 2

-Partial to adequate control of structures presented in

Level 3

-Emerging control of verbs in present perfect, past perfect, and perfect progressive time aspects

-Emerging control of present unreal conditional

-Emerging control of passive voice in statements and questions within present, past, and future simple time aspects

-Emerging development of complex sentences with adjective clauses

-Emerging development of reported speech with correct verb forms

-Partial to adequate ability to differentiate meaning between participial adjectives ending in ed and -ing and to recognize gerunds and infinitives in discrete-point tasks

-Emerging control of the mechanics of written discourse

-Adequate control of grammatical accuracy in unstructured written or oral communication involving predictable topics and grammatical structures presented in Levels 1 through 3

-Partial to adequate control of structures presented in

Level 4

-Adequately recognizes errors in verb forms and subject-verb agreement when performing a discrete-point task such as editing

-Partial to adequate control of passive structures

-Partial to adequate control of the relationships between pronouns and their referents

Partial to adequate control of quantifiers with count and non-count nouns

-Emergent to partial control of present/ past/ future sentences with stated or implied real or unreal conditions in unstructured written or oral communication

-Partial control of the mechanics of written discourse

-Adequate control of grammatical accuracy in unstructured written or oral communication involving predictable topics and grammatical structures presented in Levels 1 through 4

-Partial to adequate control of structures presented in

Level 5

-Emerging control of structures necessary for expressing hypothetical statements

-Emerging control of structures needed to elaborate on a topic and provide details, such as adjectives, adverbs, and conjunctions

-Partial to adequate control of the mechanics of written discourse

 

Language Proficiency Scale—Speaking

Level 1

(Novice Low-Mid)

Level 2

(Novice High/Int. Low)

Level 3

(Intermediate Low/Mid)

Level 4

(intermediate Mid/High)

Level 5

Int High/ Advanced Low

Level 6+

Advanced Low/ Mid

Speaking
Discourse type -Isolated words and memorized phrases -Phrases, or strings of phrases, mixed with sentence-level speech -Sentence-level speech -Sub-paragraph level speech Sub-paragraph to Paragraph-level speech Paragraph-level speech with emergent extended discourse
Content and Vocabulary -Limited to very familiar topics: basic needs and wants, likes and dislikes

-Long pauses while searching for words

-Participates in conversations over familiar topics (self, home, family) at a very basic level with appropriate vocabulary.

-In unstructured settings, vocabulary errors may obscure meaning

-Participates reactively in simple conversations, displays some original thought

– Asks and answers simple questions over a variety of familiar topics

-Vocabulary limited, but appropriate to topic; errors do not obscure meaning

-Participates with confidence and ease in predictable and concrete exchanges necessary for daily living, for expressing physical and social needs, and for talking about topics of personal interest

-Under pressure, appropriateness and breadth of vocabulary are reduced

-Handles a variety of communicative tasks.

-Actively participates in most informal and some formal conversations on topics related to school, home, and leisure activities

– Address some topics related to employment, current events, and matters of public and community interest.

-Uses circumlocution when necessary

-Handles with ease and confidence a large number of communicative tasks.

-Participates actively in most informal and some formal exchanges on a variety of concrete topics

-Extensive, though generic, vocabulary

-Utterances marked by substantial flow

Organization and Development -Responds to direct questions with only two to three words at a time or an occasional stock answer

-Responds with fair accuracy to simple, discrete questions by using learned material and/or memorized chunks

-In structured settings involving discrete questions and answers, produces fairly accurate utterances with reliance on learned material, formulaic expressions, and memorized chunks

-In unstructured settings, utterances tend to be less than sentence-length

-Utterances range from discrete sentences to strings of sentences, typically in the present, with some use of past or future time.

-Stays on topic but cannot sustain speech at paragraph level

-Provides limited detail

-Does not elaborate

-Utterances range from strings of sentences to near-paragraphs of semi-connected discourse.

-Uses major time frames when narrating and de-scribing, but performance is inconsistent

-Provides some detail with limited elaboration

-Narrates and describes in the major time frames of past, present, and future in near paragraph-length discourse

-Narration and description not always in synch

-Elaborates with adequate detail

-Has difficulty maintaining paragraph level when handling a situation with a complication

-Narrates and describes in the major time frames of past, present, and future

-Provides a full account, with good control of aspect

-Narration and description tend to be combined and interwoven to relate relevant and supporting facts in connected, paragraph-length discourse

Structure -Utterances lack any cohesive structure

-Mispronunciation may hinder communication

-Utterances contain strings of phrases

-Very little use of cohesive devices

-Uses mainly simple structures; forms some compound sentences generally with and/but/or

-Utterances contain patterns of error with several structures

-Utterances are more intricate and consist of a mix of simple, compound, and complex sentences with patterns of errors in inflection and verb conjugation -Uses a variety of sentence structures with some errors; uses a variety of verb tenses with patterned errors in some simple and many complex forms -Successfully handles the linguistic challenges of a complication or un-expected turn of events

-Clear, precise, and accurate speech with some pattered errors

 

Language Proficiency Scale—Writing

Level 1

(Novice Low-Mid)

Level 2

(Nov High/Int Low)

Level 3

(Int. Low/Mid)

Level 4

(Int Mid/High)

Level 5

Int High/ Adv. Low

Level 6+

Advanced Low/ Mid

Writing
Discourse type -Isolated words and memorized phrases -Phrases, or strings of phrases, mixed with sentence-level text -Sentence-level text -Sub-paragraph level text Paragraph-level text with emergent extended discourse Paragraph-level text with emergent extended discourse
Content and Vocabulary -Can reproduce from memory a modest number of words and phrases in context.

-Vocabulary consists of basic biographical information, such as names, numbers, and nationality.

– Able to meet a few limited practical writing needs.

-Creates some statements and formulates some questions based on highly predictable content areas.

-Vocabulary inadequate to consistently express basic needs.

-Able to meet a number of practical writing needs.

-Writes short, simple communications, compositions, and requests for information on familiar, predictable topics.

– Vocabulary adequate to express basic needs.

-Meets most practical writing needs

-Writes compositions and simple summaries related to work and/or school experiences.

-Emergent ability to narrate and describe everyday events and situations in different time frames

-Demonstrates good grasp of basic vocabulary

-Exhibits emerging ability to meet basic work and / or academic writing needs.

-Emergent ability to narrate and describe in major time frames with some control of aspect.

– Can compose simple summaries on familiar topics.

-Adequate control of vocabulary for level

-Able to meet a range of work and/or academic writing needs.

-Demonstrates the ability to narrate and describe with detail in all major time frames with good control of aspect.

-Able to write straightforward summaries on topics of general interest with good control of vocabulary

Organization and Development -Exhibits high degree of accuracy when writing on well-practiced, familiar topics using limited formulaic language.

-With less familiar topics, writing decreases in accuracy and quantity.

– Produces short, conversation-style sentences.

– Writing is not organized as a cohesive paragraph.

-Writing consists of reproductions of learned material, formulaic expressions, and memorized chunks

-Writes mainly in present time but writing may contain references to other time frames.

-Text very similar to oral discourse

-Able to organize writing into multiple paragraphs.

-Writing references major time frames

-Text lacks any real use of transitions between paragraphs.

-Combines and links sentences into texts of paragraph length and structure with minimal use of cohesive devices.

-With multiple paragraphs, writing may not be substantive and may contain some redundancy and awkward repetition.

-Uses transitions to connect ideas between paragraphs.

-Elaborates with adequate and relevant supporting details.

-Demonstrates a unique author’s voice

Structure -Exhibits little evidence of functional writing skills. Uses mainly simple, present tense sentences, but structure is correct when working with very familiar topics and learned material. Displays little evidence of actual organization.

– Shows control of basic sentence structure and verb forms.

-Text consists of loosely connected sentences.

-Attempts a mix of simple, compound, and complex sentences.

– Writing is inconsistent in the use of appropriate major time markers.

-Employs a variety of sentence structures and verb tenses with some errors in simple forms and errors in the use of appropriate major time markers. -Demonstrates syntactic variety; writing contains some grammatical errors

-Text may at times resemble oral discourse.

Mechanics -Unable to form letters correctly; incorrect capitalization and/or punctuation; some spelling errors and incorrect word forms with basic vocabulary -Begins sentences with capital letter and ends with correct punctuation.

-Writing contains basic errors in grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation, and in the formation and use of non-alphabetic symbols.

-Punctuation in simple structures correct.

-Text contains basic errors in grammar, word choice, spelling, and punctuation.

– Writing can be understood by sympathetic readers.

-Text contains numerous, sometimes significant, errors.

-Writing can be understood by unsympathetic readers.

-Text contains frequent, spelling, word choice, grammatical errors, and some punctuation errors.

-Writing can be understood by unsympathetic readers.

-Appropriate spelling, punctuation, and capitalization throughout.

-Text contains some patterned errors

-Writing can be readily understood by unsympathetic readers.

Language Proficiency Scale—Listening

Level 1

(Novice Low-Mid)

Level 2

(Novice High/Int. Low)

Level 3

(Intermediate Low/Mid)

Level 4

(Int. Mid/High)

Level 5

Int. High/ Adv. Low

Level 6+

Advanced Low/ Mid

Listening
– Recognizes and begins to understand a number of high-frequency, highly contextualized words and phrases including aural cognates and borrowed words.

-Responds appropriately to classroom commands.

– Follows simple oral instructions.

-Can identify important information from simple conversations in highly contextualized situations

– Responds appropriately to basic discrete questions about personal information

-Often understands little more than one phrase at a time, and repetition may be required.

-Understands some information from sentence-length speech, one utterance at a time, in basic personal and social contexts, though comprehension is often uneven.

-Understands speech dealing with areas of practical need such as highly standardized messages, phrases, or instructions, if the vocabulary has been learned.

-Can listen for and write down important details from simple conversations and listening passages based on simple and predictable personal and social contexts.

– Understands personal conversation questions and replies with one-word or short answer responses, relying on learned material and formulaic expressions.

-Level 2 listeners show little or no comprehension of oral texts typically understood by Level 4-5 listeners.

-Understands simple, sentence-length speech, one utterance at a time, in a variety of basic personal and social contexts.

-Comprehension is most often accurate with highly familiar and predictable topics although a few misunderstandings may occur.

-Can follow extensive directions derived from familiar contexts (games, cooking, driving around town).

-Recognizes some reduced forms commonly used in conversation

– Can identify specific information in contexts containing some unfamiliar language,

-Level 3 listeners may get some meaning from oral texts typically understood by Level 4-5 listeners.

– Understands, with ease and confidence, simple sentence-length speech in basic personal and social contexts.

– Identifies main ideas and key details of listening passages from a variety of authentic sources.

-Emergent ability to make inferences based on information from listening passages.

-Can follow extensive verbal instructions.

– Can follow the gist of an extended face-to-face conversation with a native speaker at a near normal rate of speed

– Responds appropriately, but with some difficulty, to requests for elaboration,

-Can derive substantial meaning from some connected texts typically understood by Level 5 listeners, although gaps in understanding will often occur due to a limited knowledge of the vocabulary and structures of the spoken language.

-Understands short conventional narrative and descriptive texts with a clear underlying structure.

-Understands the main facts and some supporting details.

-Can take organized notes on the main points and supporting details of lectures on familiar topics.

-Can ask and respond to questions about material presented in a lecture.

-Can make some inferences based on information from listening passages.

-Can apply information gathered from a listening passage to perform a specified task

-Recognizes how syllabic stress can change the meaning of a word

-Comprehension may often derive primarily from situational and subject-matter knowledge.

-Understands conventional narrative and descriptive texts, such as expanded descriptions of persons, places, and things, and narrations about past, present, and future events. –Comprehends speech that is predominantly in familiar target-language patterns.

-Understands the main facts and most supporting details of a listening passage.

– Takes well-organized notes from an extended lecture.

-Understands the main points of extended conversations from a variety of sources including news programs, panel discussions, classroom discussions, debates, movies and television programs.

-Makes well-informed inferences based on information from listening passages.

-Comprehension derives not only from situational and subject-matter knowledge, but also from an increasing overall facility with the language itself.

 

Language Proficiency Scale–Reading

Level 1

(Novice Low-Mid)

Level 2

(Novice High/Int. Low)

Level 3

(Intermediate Low/Mid)

Level 4

(intermediate Mid/High)

Level 5

Int High/ Advanced Low

Level 6+

Advanced Low/ Mid

Reading
– Connects phonological sounds with corresponding letters and clusters

-Understands key words and cognates, as well as formulaic phrases across a range of highly contextualized texts.

-Where vocabulary has been learned, understands predictable language and messages such as those found on train schedules, roadmaps, and street signs.

-Can derive meaning from short, non-complex texts that convey basic information for which there is contextual or extralinguistic support.

-Can answer simple discrete comprehension questions about a reading passage.

-Reading connected text outside of the very familiar and predictable is a challenge.

-Understands some information from simple connected texts dealing with a limited number of personal and social needs.

– Can identify the main points of simple news stories and informative articles within highly contextualized and predictable topics

– Can identify characters, setting, and plot within level-appropriate stories.

-Can answer simple discrete comprehension questions about a reading passage.

-Misunderstandings may frequently occur and rereading is often necessary.

-Understands, with some difficulty, short, non-complex texts that convey basic information and deal with basic personal and social topics to which the reader brings personal interest or knowledge.

– Derives some meaning from short connected texts featuring description and narration, dealing with familiar topics, although misunderstandings may often occur.

-Can use contextual clues to determine the meaning of words and idiomatic expressions.

-Can scan text for specific information.

– Can answer comprehension questions about the main ideas of a simple informational text.

Understands fully and with ease short, non-complex texts that convey basic information and deal with personal and social topics to which the reader brings personal interest or knowledge.

-Able to understand connected texts featuring description and narration.

-Can skim a text for general ideas

– Can scan an informational text for specific information

– Can answer comprehension questions about details in an informational text

– Recognizes and identifies common transitional words and phrases

– Predicts the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary from contextual clues

-Occasional gaps in understanding may occur due to the reader’s limited knowledge of the vocabulary, structures, and writing conventions present in a given text.

– Understands conventional narrative and descriptive texts from a variety of sources containing a clear underlying structure and high-frequency vocabulary and grammatical or syntactical structures.

-Identifies and understands the main ideas and most supporting details of connected text.

-Comprehension may often derive primarily from situational and subject-matter knowledge.

-Exhibits emerging understanding of basic literary elements.

-Demonstrates emerging control of standard linguistic conventions to understand sequencing, time frames, and chronology.

-Comprehension may be uneven and the reader may be challenged to comprehend more complex texts.

-Understands conventional narrative and descriptive texts, such as expanded descriptions of persons, places, and things and narrations about past, present, and future events.

Responds critically to information and ideas presented in a variety of texts including newspaper and magazine articles, academic and professional journals, text books, short and long works of fiction, non-fiction books, and poetry

-Demonstrates sufficient control of standard linguistic conventions of written text.

-Understands the main ideas, facts, and many supporting details of a passage.

-Can make predictions based on the passage

– Makes logical inferences based on information presented in a reading passage

-Comprehension derives not only from situational and subject-matter knowledge but also from knowledge of the language itself.

– Exhibits emerging ability to derive some meaning from texts that are structurally and/or conceptually more complex.

(Adapted from ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, 2012)