Lesson 2: ACTFL Guidelines and National Standards

ACTFL Guidelines

ACTFL stands for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. According to its home page, ACTFL is "a national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction throughout the U.S."

In 1986, ACTFL developed a set of global descriptions of linguistic performance for speaking, listening, reading, and writing. These descriptions of language ability came to be known as the "ACTFL proficiency guidelines". These guidelines identify various stages of proficiency, as opposed to achievement. In other words, the guidelines attempt to assess what individuals can and cannot do with the target language regardless of the curriculum.


Dr. Garza on the ACFTL Guidelines.

Duration: 02:18

Read through the ACTFL proficiency levels (e.g., Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior) and estimate your own linguistic proficiency. Note that you may be stronger in one skill than in another (e.g., stronger in reading than in speaking).