Chinese Program

When the Students Can Become the Teachers

Learn about the eighth graders Humans of Guilin Rap Project

Each spring fifth and eighth graders’ Chinese proficiency levels are assessed using the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Chinese Program Director Cindy Chiang (right) shared this year’s thrilling results showing that 75.6% of the Class of 2023 reached a particularly high bar in their Chinese—the Intermediate-High proficiency standard for the OPI. The Intermediate-High level is our internal benchmark for eighth graders, and it is the level that the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) requires for an adult candidate looking to teach Chinese in U.S. primary or secondary schools.

Our benchmark for the fifth graders taking the OPI is “Intermediate-Mid” and we are extremely pleased to see that 90% of the Class of 2026 reached this proficiency benchmark or higher as well.

While the OPI is designed for college level students, CAIS has chosen this assessment for our students because it is the most widely used and well-regarded assessment mechanism of its type. In addition, similar oral proficiency assessments for younger students are not well matched to our students’ relatively high proficiency levels.