Foreign Language Proficiency

Foreign language proficiency at an intermediate level is a keystone of the Global Scholars program. The Global Scholars program requires demonstrated oral proficiency at a minimum level in at least one language other than your native language. See below for accepted levels.  Proficiency refers to the tasks you can accomplish in a language, and is not measured or determined by taking a certain number of courses. Only a professional assessment will evaluate oral proficiency in a foreign language.

The most efficient way to satisfy the Global Scholars language requirement is to take a nationally or internationally recognized proficiency exam. (See a comparison chart of tests and scores). The College of Charleston uses the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages' (ACTFL) Oral Proficency Interview-Computer (OPIc) for Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish evaluations. The Department of German & Slavic Studies is an official testing center for the Goethe Institute. For proficiency tests in other languages, please see the department chairs where those languages are taught, or contact Joseph Weyers at weyersj@cofc.edu .

Scheduling a test

If you are a major in French or Spanish, you will take the OPIc in your final semester at the College of Charleston. See the Department of German and Slavic Studies for information on Goethe Institute testing.

If you are not a language major, and need to schedule a test in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, or Arabic, follow this procedure:

  • Make an appointment with the LCWA Language Lab Director, at langlab@cofc.edu . Suggest at least 3 day/time combinations. Allow 50 minutes for the testing.
  • Order and purchase an OPIc by going to http://www.languagetesting.com/certifications-tests/certifications . Language Testing International (LTI) is the company that offers the OPIc.
  • Choose your language.
  • Under Students/Teachers-Programs with ACTFL requirements, Choose Test
  • Enter Institution Name: College of Charleston-Student Payments
  • Select 'ACTFL OPIc', the $73 option
  • Select Proctor Location: College of Charleston
  • Select Upgrades: you do not have to choose any of these if you prefer not to. We will receive an email with your results.
  • Continue on to completing your log-in information and payment information.
  • You will get a payment receipt and testing ID information. Print both pieces of information and have them with you, along with a photo ID, on the day of testing.
  • Your official result is generally available within 5 days

Faculty & staff members may have taken an oral proficiency at some time in their studies or career. The result from that test may be used for Global Scholars designation.

Minimum levels of proficiency for Global Scholars designation