Becoming an ACTFL Certified OPI tester & Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I register for the Full Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Assessment Workshop or for the Modified Oral Proficiency Interview (MOPI)  Assessment Workshop?  A: The Full OPI Assessment workshop is appropriate for all educators. If you primarily teach and test students at the Novice and Intermediate levels, the MOPI Workshop format is adequate. 

Q: Can I register for an ACTFL OPI or MOPI Workshop online? 
A: Yes. Register at (select Professional Development/Workshops/Workshop Registration). Annual OPI Assessment workshops are held twice a year. The fall workshop takes place the week of the National Convention and the summer OPI Assessment workshop ususally takes place in July. Please check for updated workshop schedules. 

Q: What is included in the workshop registration fee? 

A: The workshop registration fee includes workshop attendance, full participation in all workshop activities, and workshop materials. The fee does not include travel, housing or meal expenses nor does it include the certification application fee.  

Q: What form of payment does ACTFL accept for workshop registration fees? 
A: ACTFL accepts personal checks, institutional checks and purchase orders, VISA, and Mastercard. 

Q: What should I do if no language-specific section is available in my language of specialization? 

A: You should register for the English/mixed languages section. The training and practice is conducted in English. Participants are encouraged to apply the training to their specific languages and to seek certification in those languages. 

Q: Is it necessary to be an ACTFL member in order to attend an OPI or MOPI Workshop? 
A: No, membership is not required for workshop attendance. However, reduced registration fees are available to ACTFL members. It is possible to become an ACTFL member and to register for a workshop at the reduced fee at the same time. Please note, membership is required in order to obtain OPI Testrer certification.

Q: My colleagues and I are unable to travel to attend an ACTFL sponsored workshop. Is it possible to hold an OPI or MOPI workshop at my institution?
A: Yes. ACTFL arranges on-site ACTFL workshops at individual schools. For more information, contact

Q: What is the workshop format?
A: Attendees meet each day for large group presentations followed by language-specific break-out sections of ten participants with one trainer. The majority of the day is devoted to hands-on activities including: a) observation of demonstration interviews; b) rating practice; c) individual practice testing; and c) group and trainer critique and feedback. 

Q: What are the pre-requisites for certification? 

A: In order to apply to become an ACTFL OPI Tester, you must meet the following prerequisites:
1) Affiliation with an academic institution as defined by ACTFL*
2) Possession of an undergraduate degree in a related field
3) Minimal proficiency level of Advanced-Mid in the language of training.
*An academic institution is an accredited school, college, or university where foreign languages are taught. The term affiliation with an academic institution is defined as a current faculty and/or staff member who is involved in the instruction or evaluation of language students. Private language companies that offer translation services or language testing do not qualify under ACTFL’s definition of an academic institution. Private for-profit companies also do not qualify.  

Q: Who are the trainers?
A: ACTFL OPI trainers are highly qualified language faculty and educators who are nationally recognized experts in the area of oral proficiency assessment. OPI trainers are certified by ACTFL.  

Q: What are my options following the workshop?  A. Following the workshop, participants have the opportunity to apply the skills learned  during "open rating practice" on the ACTFL Training Site (  Those workshop participants who wish to pursue ACTFL OPI Tester Certification may apply at this time.   

Q. What are the steps required to be an ACTFL Certified OPI Tester?   Following the workshop and the online "open rating practice,"  participants may apply to become ACTFL Certified OPI Testers.  This requires submitting a completed application form with the application fee of $350.00.  Tester trainees listen to and rate OPIs online and submit their ratings.  When a trainee 's ability to rate reliably is documented, they conduct OPIs according to the elicitation procedures learned and rate the same interviews according to OPI rating protocol.  A specific number of interviews is submitted to a trainer for review.  When a Tester trainee's ability to conduct and rate OPIs meets the criteria for Tester certification, OPI Tester Certification is awarded.

Q: How long does it take to become certified?
A: There is no minimum amount of time required to complete the certification process. The sooner one completes all of the requirements, the shorter the certification process. The maximum amount of time to complete certification is one calendar year from the completion of workshop training. 

Q: How long is ACTFL tester certification valid?

A: OPI Testers are certified for four years. At the end of this time, all Testers must recertify. 

Q: What are some of the benefits of becoming an ACTFL certified OPI Tester?

A: ACTFL certified Testers are a critical resource to their institutions in the areas of language assessment, curriculum , and instructional practices. Certification as an ACTFL OPI Tester is recognition that an individual understands and can apply the principles and concepts of proficiency testing with consistency and reliability.
Certified ACTFL Testers are authorized to conduct OPIs and assign advisory ratings within their own academic institutions. They may also participate in the official ACTFL Testing Program through LTI, the ACTFL Testing Office.


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