Do I need to take the Arabic ACTFL?

First of all, do you really know what the ACTFL is? Well…it’s an acronym, right? So, ACTFL stands for “American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages”. Basically it’s a standardized way to assess your oral or written proficiency in a foreign language. The ACTFL is offered for dozens of languages around the world, and there are certified testers right here in Amman who can assess your proficiency in Arabic. Already getting nervous? I’ll bet I know what you’re thinking:

“Eyyks!! I don’t wanna sit down alone in a room with a tester, a written exam and whatever else, so he or she can pick apart my Arabic AND I walk out embarrassed two hours later, AND I have to pay for it, AND nobody is making me do it!”

Wait a minute! Hold on! Whoever said that the test would be written? Whoever said that you’d get embarrassed? Of course you do have to pay a reasonable sum for the test, but how many thousands of dollars have you already paid to learn Arabic up to this point? Don’t you think a test like this would be worth it if its going to show you how far YOU HAVE GOTTEN until now?

But seriously, before I took the test I had the same feelings, so I totally understand. However, you need to think of the ACTFL test for spoken Arabic as an essential tool for you to begin using periodically to encourage you along the road toward greater and greater proficiency in Arabic. So this is how the test goes:

  • First you set up a date and time with a tester. We can help you with this right here at KAP.
  • Then you show up for your appointment with butterflies in your stomach and meet the tester.
  • Next the tester pushes the record button on his or her recording device… EEEK! =)
  • After that you have an interesting conversation with the tester about all the things that you like to talk about with your friends, about your life, where you were born, things that you like, your family, your hobbies, your interests and your goals, and anything else that can comfortably fit into a 25-30 minute chat.
  • Then you’re done! Two weeks later you get your results in a 2-3 page report about your offical level in Spoken Arabic as well as your strengths and weaknesses as an Arabic speaker.

That’s it? No pulling teeth? No embarassing comments? No red ink? Nope…just a nice conversation with a professional who’s helping you grow as a language learner. Sounds a lot better than you thought, right?

There are a couple of more things that might encourage you to take this test. One is that some testers can give you an official certificate that CAN help you get college credit at universities. Another is that the results will give you a specific level in Spoken Arabic that will officially tell you how far you HAVE COME. The levels someone might receive are:

  1. Novice Low, Novice Mid, Novice High.
  2. Intermediate Low, Intermediate Mid, Intermediate High.
  3. Advanced Low, Advanced Mid, Advanced High.
  4. Superior.

Any more questions? Come and talk to us in the KAP office or send us an email!

Recent Kelsey Graduate