Strong Foreign Language Skills


World Flags

Advanced level language skills can be categorized according to four language skill areas. The guidelines below, adapted from the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages, provide concrete examples that demonstrate an advanced level of competence. 


  1. You should be understood without difficulty by natives, and converse in a clear and participatory fashion.
  2. You should be able to initiate, sustain, and bring closure to a wide variety of communicative tasks.
  3. You should be able to narrate and describe concrete and abstract topics using sustained, connected discourse.


  1. You should easily follow the essential points of written text.
  2. You should be able to understand parts of texts which are conceptually abstract and linguistically complex.


  1. You should be able to address a variety of topics with significant precision and detail.
  2. You should be able to write competently about topics relating to particular interests and write clearly about special fields of competence.
  3. You should be able to organize writings with a sense of theoretical structure.


  1. You should understand the main ideas of most speech in a standard dialect.
  2. You should demonstrate an emerging awareness of culturally implied meanings beyond the surface meanings of the text.
  3. For further information about the ACTFL Guidelines, please consult their site.