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Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Language Proficiency Ratings

Indicate your language proficiency using the following numeric Interagency Language Roundtable/Foreign Service Institute levels. (For example, French S5/R4; Spanish S3/R3.) The following are brief descriptions of proficiency levels 2, 3, 4, and 5. 'S' indicates speaking ability and 'R' indicates reading ability. For more in-depth description of the levels refer to USAID Handbook 28. 2: Limited working proficiency 2S Able to satisfy routine special demands and limited work requirements. 2R Sufficient comprehension to read simple, authentic written material in a form equivalent to usual printing or typescript on familiar subjects. 3: General professional proficiency 3S Able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations. 3R Able to read within a normal range of speed and with almost complete comprehension. 4: Advanced professional proficiency 4S Able to use the language fluently and accurately on all levels. 4R Nearly native ability to read and understand extremely difficult or abstract prose, colloquialisms and slang. 5: Functional native proficiency 5S Speaking proficiency is functionally equivalent to that of a highly articulate welleducated native speaker. 5R Reading proficiency is functionally equivalent to that of the well-educated native reader.


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