If you have demonstrated language abilities in any of the languages offered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures and would like to receive recognition for your language proficiency, you are encouraged to apply to this program!
The Language Certification Program allows students to receive two forms of foreign language recognition:
- An official notation of language proficiency on your Missouri State University transcript
- A Department of World Languages and Cultures digital badge that endorses your level of proficiency
To participate in the Language Certification Program, you must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at Missouri State University. Students should apply to be part of the Language Certification Program approximately two semesters prior to their anticipated semester of graduation.
After your application to the Language Certification Program has been processed, you will be assigned to a Faculty Mentor who will meet with you as often as determined necessary as you make plans to take the Proficiency Assessments.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures at Missouri State University utilizes an off-site assessment service, Language Testing International (LTI), to evaluate student language proficiency. LTI is the testing office of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the organization that has set the guidelines for language proficiency.
As part of the Language Certification Program, you will take the following two assessments through LTI, but on the MSU-Springfield campus. Both assessments must be completed prior to graduation.
- Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). As described by ACTFL, “The Oral Proficiency Interview is a carefully structured, 20-30 minutes interview between an ACTFL Certified Tester and a candidate. The interview is interactive and adaptive to the experiences and linguistic competence of the candidate. The digitally recorded sample is double rated.”
- Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). As described by ACTFL, “This is a proctored, standardized test for global assessment of functional writing ability, measuring how well a person writes in a language. Candidates’ writing samples are double rated.”
ACTFL has set the possible ratings for each assessment as follows:
- Advanced (High, Mid, Low)
- Intermediate (High, Mid, Low)
- Novice (High, Mid, Low)
The ratings that you receive on the OPI and WPT will determine your eligibility for Language Certification through this program. You must score Intermediate (High) or above on the OPI or the WPT to be eligible for certification through this program.
To apply for the Language Certification Program, complete the online application form, followed by the required writing sample(s), which must be submitted to the Department of World Languages and Cultures using one of these methods:
Missouri State University
Department of World Languages and Cultures
Language Certification Program
ATTN: Melanie Kleeschulte
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897
The Assessment Process
Once you have had an initial meeting with your appointed Faculty mentor, you may begin to prepare for the assessment process. Both assessments must be taken on the MSU-Springfield campus and must be taken within the year prior to graduation.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures at Missouri State University utilizes Language Testing International (LTI), which is the testing service for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). As part of the Language Certificate Program, you will take both the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT).
If you are a language major, you will take the OPI and WPT in your program capstone course and must wait until that time to take the assessments.
To understand more about what the assessments are like, and for suggestions on how to best prepare for the assessments please read through the descriptions of the OPI and the WPT by clicking on the link below, and consult with your Faculty mentor.
In order to allow time to receive the results of the assessments, please take the assessments prior to mid-term of your semester of graduation.
Assessment ratings can take up to four weeks to be posted. You will be contacted once your ratings have been posted and confirmed.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures will certify the following three levels of language proficiency:
- Advanced: If at least one ACTFL rating is Intermediate High or Advanced Low
- Advanced+: If at least one ACTFL rating is Advanced Mid
- Mastery: If at least one ACTFL rating is Advanced High or higher
The Transcript Notation: This will include your language and the achieved proficiency level certified by the Department of World Languages and Cultures. We will inform the Office of the Registrar and they will make the notation on your transcript.
The Digital Badge: The Digital Badge will include your language and the proficiency level certified by the Department of World Languages and Cultures.