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Michigan's Oral Proficiency Requirement for Teachers of World Languages

In compliance with the Michigan Department of Education, The Department of Spanish at Western Michigan University requires that all teacher candidates pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification for each subject area in which they wish to become certified (e.g., their teaching majors and minors). In addition to passing the MTTC, candidates who wish to be certified to teach world languages are now required to meet oral proficiency standards.

As of May 1, 2010, candidates can no longer be recommended for certification in a world language unless they have met the oral proficiency standard established by the MDE for that language. At WMU, Spanish oral proficiency tests are administered by the Department of Spanish through Language Testing International and their Oral Proficiency Interview via Computer. Questions and requests for appointments should be addressed to Michael Braun.

The scale used to measure oral proficiency is taken from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages proficiency guidelines. There are ten levels on the scale. As of 2014, all interns must score “Advanced Low” on the OPI or OPIc prior to student teaching.  The Department of Spanish will pay for the OPIc one time per student.  If additional testing is necessary, the candidate will be responsible for the additional cost per test.  There is a 90 day wait period between OPIc exams.

Language proficiency: tips and resources for teacher candidates

ACTFL test

Sample OPIc (English)

The OPIc is an internet delivered test which provides valid and reliable oral proficiency testing on a large scale.

Language testing registration at LTI

To register for an exam, contact Michael Braun or the Department of Spanish. Step-by-step information can be found here.

pdf icon OPIc mesa (practice sessions)

Tuesday, 2 to 3 p.m.
3010 Brown Hall


Contact Michael Braun.