Find the Vietnamese Oral Proficiency Guidelines here.

Please note that the Oral Proficiency content and opinions on this website are solely those of the Southeast Asian Language Council’s (SEALC) and not those of ACTFL. ACTFL does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of the information provided.

Novice High

The interviewee can produce memorized phrases and lists of vocabulary words to respond to basic questions, with long pauses. For instance, she can list facts about her hometown and the subjects she will study in the fall, but cannot elaborate. The interviewee’s language breaks down when asked questions at an Intermediate level. The speaker can be understood with difficulty by a sympathetic interlocutor. For the above reasons, this interviewee is at a Novice High level of Vietnamese.

Intermediate High

The interviewee can respond to questions about concrete topics using strings of sentences, with some misunderstandings and pauses. For instance, the interviewee describes her current and previous degree programs. The interviewee can sometimes respond in paragraph length discourse, i.e. when describing a comparison between her hometown and current city in detail. The interviewee’s language breaks down when given an Advanced level role-play dealing with an unexpected complication (i.e. lost luggage); she can describe her luggage, but cannot explain the circumstances or resolve the issue. For the above reasons, this interviewee is at an Intermediate High level of Vietnamese.

Advanced Mid

The interviewee demonstrates the ability to narrate and describe in all major time frames (i.e. past experiences in the ESL program) and in paragraph-length discourse. She can easily handle a situation with a complication (i.e. role-play involving getting locked out of the office). Her comprehensibility is at a high level when she can respond directly to the question with relevant information. She has no difficulty with pronunciation and her response flows naturally with clear sentences and she can be understood by interviewers unaccustomed to non-native speakers. However, her vocabulary is generic and she does not practice the use of connectors to support her opinion with strong points, therefore she cannot express strong opinions and discuss abstract topics related to current and public/community events. For the above reasons, this interviewee is at an Advanced Mid level of Vietnamese.


The interviewee can fully communicate with accuracy and fluency in conversation on a variety of topics in formal and informal settings, from both concrete and abstract perspectives. He can control the language and can perform with accuracy and fluency with no effort. The linguistic quantity and quality of his speech are consistent throughout the interview. His pronunciation is as natural as a native speaker’s and he employs idioms and expressions to support his ideas and make his speech more concise and rhetorical. For intonation, he breaks the discourse of his speech with utterances in a very reasonable and natural rhythm. The minor grammatical and pronunciation mistakes made do not affect the comprehensibility of speech. For the above reasons, this interviewee is at a Superior level of Vietnamese.

Find the Vietnamese Heritage & Project-Based Language Learning lesson here. This lesson is also available on the UCLA National Heritage Language Resource Center website. For more information on this initiative, click here.