Academia Language School’s Achievement Scale

Academia Language School’s Achievement Scale

Programs of study and level divisions at Academia Language School have been determined with a considerable degree of reference to Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) standards of achievement.  Students placed in the Basic English Program are expected to reach a level approaching ILR 1 (also known as “Elementary Proficiency,” i.e., able to participate in casual conversations about daily habits, work, family, and common, routine matters) upon exit from the program.  Students placed in the English for Communication Program are expected to reach a level approaching ILR 2 (also known as “Limited Working Proficiency,” i.e., able to participate effectively in most conversations regarding practical, social, and professional concerns) upon exit from the program.  Finally, students placed in the English for Applied Purposes Program are expected to reach a level approaching ILR 3 (also known as “General Professional Proficiency,” i.e., able to speak with sufficient fluency, structural accuracy, and vocabulary to participate effectively in all conversations on practical, social, and professional topics) upon exit from the program.

Description of ILR Levels

The ILR level descriptors below describe proficiency levels according to the standards that are in common use by the U.S. Government.  These descriptions are used in determining course placement and progression in ESL and World Languages courses at Academia Language School.

ILR Level 1 – Elementary Proficiency 

The following characteristics describe the traits of a student at ILR Level 1:

  • able to satisfy routine travel needs and minimum courtesy requirements
  • able to ask and answer questions on familiar topics within the scope of limited language experience
  • able to understand simple questions and statements, allowing for slowed speech, repetition or paraphrasing
  • in possession of a speaking vocabulary adequate to expressing elementary needs despite frequent errors in pronunciation and grammar
  • can be understood by a native speaker used to dealing with foreigners attempting to speak the language
  • able to inquire about meals, shelter or lodging; able to ask and give simple directions, make purchases, etc.

ILR Level 2 – Limited Working Proficiency

The following characteristics describe the traits of a student at ILR Level 2:

  • able to satisfy routine social demands
  • able to handle with confidence, but not with facility, most social situations including introductions and casual conversations about current events, as well as work, family, and autobiographical information
  • able to handle limited work requirements, but need help in handling any complications or difficulties; able to get the gist of most conversations on non-technical subjects (i.e. topics which require no specialized knowledge); and in possession of a speaking vocabulary sufficient to conversing simply with some circumlocutions
  • having an accent which, though often quite faulty, is intelligible
  • usually able to handle elementary constructions quite accurately, but lacking thorough or confident control of grammar

ILR Level 3 – General Professional Proficiency

The following characteristics describe the traits of a student at ILR Level 3:

  • able to speak with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics
  • able to discuss particular interests and special fields of competence with reasonable ease
  • having comprehension which is quite complete for a normal rate of speech
  • having a general vocabulary which is broad enough that he or she rarely has to grope for a word
  • having an accent which may be obviously foreign but, nevertheless, easily understood
  • having good control of grammar; errors virtually never interfere with understanding and rarely disturb the native speaker