TLC administers spoken and written proficiency tests on behalf of ALTA Language Services.
The spoken test is taken over the phone with a trained evaluator and lasts up to 30 minutes. Once the tester’s identity has been confirmed, the evaluator will proceed with the test questions over the phone. Test questions will be about a variety of general topics, for example: routine actions, stating a preference, describing pat or future situations, discussing a course of action, or defending one’s opinion. The test allows you to provide numerous samples of your speaking ability in the target langauge.
For test-taking tips, please review the example listed for the general test.
The handwritten test is composed of 5 short essay questions that the candidate has up to 60 minutes to complete. ALTA’s writing proficiency test involves pools of prompts designed to elicit writing samples in a variety of styles and forms. Research has shown that lower-level candidates perform better on writing tests when given a number of short writing tasks and prompts, whereas higher-level candidates are able to adapt their skills to tasks of different difficulties and lengths. ALTA’s test ensures that candidates at all levels are able to demonstrate their skills in several writing samples. Scores are based on the organization and expression of ideas, quality and style of sentences, grammar and spelling, and more.
To see a sample of this test, please review our writing practice test. The practice test is written in English, but actual test prompts will be written in the target language selected for the test taker.
TN Language Center
The Tennessee Language Center (formerly TFLI), an agency of the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service established in 2018, is dedicated to responsive service of the public sector, the business community and private citizens in realizing their intercultural communication goals.