IJͼ

Oral Proficiency Interview - Computer (OPIc)

The OPIc is an internet-delivered test which provides valid and reliable oral proficiency testing on a large scale.

OPIc logo

It was developed in 2006 in response to the increased worldwide demand for the testing of oral language proficiency on a large scale. The computer-delivered assessment emulates the ‘live’ OPI, but delivery of prompts is through a carefully designed computer program, and via a virtual avatar, Ava, the OPIc “Tester.” This format allows the test to be taken on demand, and at a time convenient to the candidate and proctor.

The goal of the OPIc is the same as the OPI: to obtain a ratable sample of speech which a rater can evaluate and compare to the IJͼ or in order to assign a rating. The OPIc assesses the full range of the IJͼ scale, from Novice through Superior, taking, on average, between 20 and 40 minutes to complete.

Languages

Official IJͼ OPIcs are currently available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Visit the IJͼ OPIc Certification page to learn about becoming a certified OPIc rater.

The OPIc Format

Forms: The OPIc assesses the full range of the IJͼ Proficiency Guidelines—from Novice to Superior on five different test forms. The results of the self-assessment identify the appropriate form.

  • Form 1 can provide a rating within the proficiency range of Novice Low to Intermediate Low (NL – IL).
  • Form 2 can provide a rating within the proficiency range of Novice Low to Intermediate High (NL – IH).
  • Form 3 can provide a rating within the proficiency range of Novice Low to Advanced Low (NL – AL).
  • Form 4 can provide a rating within the proficiency range of Intermediate High to Advanced High (IH – AH).
  • Form 5 can provide a rating within the proficiency range of Advanced Mid to Superior (AL – S).

Assessment Factors

OPIc raters are certified via a rigorous certification process and are required to participate in quality assurance activities such as annual calibration events, virtual office hours, benchmarking activities, and other focused rater readiness activities.

Certified raters holistically consider assessment factors including function, accuracy, content/context, and text type in order to award an integrative proficiency rating.

  • Function: OPIc raters consider the test taker’s ability to successfully fulfill the assigned tasks by using the functions outlined in the Guidelines. Are test takers able to engage in global tasks like asking questions, narrating, describing, persuading or supporting opinions, for example?
  • Accuracy: Accuracy should be understood as how well a speaker is understood. OPIc raters consider how features such as vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, fluency, pragmatic competence, and sociolinguistic competence affect the overall comprehensibility of the message.
  • Content & Context: An OPIc rater considers the appropriateness of a test taker’s response. Is the response on topic? Is it appropriate for the context of the prompt?
  • Text Type: OPIc raters consider how much language a test taker can produce and how well it is organized.

These assessment factors are not evaluated in isolation; a test taker’s language ability is holistically evaluated based on the overall performance. A proficiency rating is awarded based on how all the factors contribute to the description of a speaker’s global proficiency.

For details, please view the OPIc Assessment Criteria below.

OPIc Assessment Criteria (table)


Familiarization Materials

The IJͼ OPIc is designed to assess spontaneous unrehearsed language ability. IJͼ does not provide practice materials for this reason. Test takers can, however, further familiarize themselves with the test format by reviewing the IJͼ OPIc Familiarization Guide and by taking the test. IJͼ also provides suggestions for test takers and for educators.

Reliability and Validity

The IJͼ OPIc is a valid and reliable assessment of speaking proficiency. externally evaluated by a number of studies since its development in 2006 (e.g. Surface, Poncheri, & Bhavsar, 2008; Surface, 2018;Thompson, Cox & Knapp, 2016). IJͼ assessments also undergo regular external reviews as part of the ACE CREDIT review process. For more information, visit the bibliography of IJͼ’s ACE Review studies.