In reference to my earlier post, I'm looking for credible, accredited or widely accepted foreign language proficiency exams.

Duolingo claims they use WebCAPE proficiency test as a key metric of how well Duolingo's platform/curriculum prepares their users in the language:

we've looked at how well people learning with Duolingo score on the WebCAPE test

Is this the de facto standard for gauging a learner's proficiency? What are other options? If there's nothing good in the US, what are international standards that will be a good, widely accepted measure of a learner's proficiency?

I'm attempting to be as objective as possible when I teach a foreign language and want to ensure my curriculum is held to accepted standards.

  • "Domestic" without context doesn't mean anything. Did you want to write "in the US"?
    – michau
    Jan 13, 2017 at 16:39
  • 1
    @michau good catch. fixed
    – user3871
    Jan 13, 2017 at 16:52
  • Are you referring to exams administered by US organisations, exams by foreign organisations that are recognised in the US (e.g., possibly, HSK for Standard Chinese), or both?
    – Tsundoku
    Jan 13, 2017 at 18:05
  • 2
    @ChristopheStrobbe I'm referring to anything that would be a credible measure in the US of someone's proficiency in a foreign language.
    – user3871
    Jan 13, 2017 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


The ILR (International Language Roundtable) is the most recognized language fluency test in the United States. According to the official website:

The ILR as an entity does not develop or administer language tests itself. Many government agencies refer to the ILR Language Skill-Level Descriptions in scoring language proficiency tests and assigning scores, but each test is different in some important respects

The ILR Skill Level Descriptions and the ILR Scale are used to develop and score U.S. Government (USG) tests of language skills. USG language tests are used for USG employees only and are not available to private individuals, commercial services, or other non-government organizations. Applicants to USG positions may be tested if they are sponsored by a governmental agency. There are a number of organizations and resources that provide information on other available tests, or testing services, including: Brigham Young University Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS - http://flats.byu.edu/index.php) Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Foreign Language Test Database ( http://www.cal.org/CALWebDB/FLTest/) Language Testing International (LTI), which is part of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL -- http://www.languagetesting.com/) Minnesota Language Proficiency Assessments (MLPA), Center for Advanced Research in Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota (http://www.carla.umn.edu/assessment/MLPA.html) DIALANG, European Commission, Directorate General Education and Culture, under the SOCRATES Programme, LINGUA Action D. Test yourself in reading, writing, listening, grammar and vocabulary in 14 European languages http://www.dialang.org/intro.htm

  • Ah, this seems fitting for government employees only. My curriculum will be for US students and other consumers.
    – user3871
    Jan 16, 2017 at 0:03

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