Language and Cultural Studies

The LANG prefix designates foreign language and linguistics study when the language offered is not one listed. 

Spanish majors must study abroad to assure a certain level of fluency and firsthand experience living in the target culture. Most students go abroad for one semester; however, majors may opt to study for two semesters abroad to attain greater proficiency in the language. Only in exceptional cases of unavoidable family obligations may a student be permitted to fulfill this requirement with 6 university credits taken abroad in the summer. Students originating from Spanish-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement depending on their level of education in their home country. Students seeking certification to teach languages must satisfy all requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Spanish majors demonstrate their oral proficiency before graduation by completing the Oral Proficiency Interview via computer (OPIc) assessed by the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This assessment will be conducted on Eastern’s campus via computer in the student’s senior year. Note: All fees must be paid with the application, either by credit card or by check made out directly to LTI. Eastern University does not receive any fees for this testing service.

What is the OPIC? 

The OPIC is a national proficiency test administered through Language Testing International, the exclusive licensee of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The OPIc measures how well you speak a language by comparing a student’s performance with the criteria described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Speaking (Revised 1999). It is administered via computer and a secure internet connection. As a Spanish major you must take the OPIc on campus in your senior year to assess your oral proficiency. You will be awarded a certificate from ACTFL that documents your level which may be required for employment or for a teaching certification. The national benchmark established by ACTFL is Advanced Low; for the State of Pennsylvania it is Intermediate High. Given the immersion experience required by the program through a semester of study abroad, Eastern expects Spanish majors to obtain Advanced Low.

To prepare for the test, you should complete the OPIc Demo. No username and password are needed, just click Start Demo. Complete the background information survey. You should be asked one test question (e.g. what is the weather) and about seven interview questions based on your responses to the survey.

ACTFL Proficiency Levels

You should familiarize yourself with the ACTFL Proficiency Levels at: