Interpretation of Proficiency Scale

Levels 1-6

1. On what basis are students in the Language and Culture Center (LCC) placed in their levels?

When students enter the program, they are given three placement tests: (1) the Michigan English Placement Test (a multiple choice exam that tests a student’s listening comprehension, grammar mastery, and reading comprehension), (2) the LCC Oral Interview (administered by two instructors, one asking questions and the other scoring for content and overall fluency), and (3) the LCC Writing Sample (graded holistically by two instructors independently according to a grading guide that evaluates grammar, vocabulary, organization, content, and mechanics). The Michigan counts 50 percent, and the Oral Interview and the Writing Sample each count 25 percent toward the placement score. That score, on a 100-point proficiency scale, is a weighted average, which is used as a guide for initial placement.

2. How are students evaluated for promotion or for exit from the program?

At the end of the term, students take the COMPASS ESL test and a Writing Sample on another topic. The student's final average, which is the average of the COMPASS ESL score, the Writing Sample score, and the teacher evaluation score, is used as a guide for level progression. The evaluation score ranges, on a 100-point proficiency scale, are listed below.

13/14 Week Course

Placement and Promotion

7 Week Course

 Placement Only

Level Placement/Promotion Score Level Placement/Promotion Score Level Placement Score Level Placement Score
1 0-26 4 59-71 1 0-35 4 66-76
2 27-43 5 72-81 2 36-51 5 77-83
3 44-58 6 82-100 3 52-65 6 84-100

3. What student outcomes (in reading, writing, and speaking/listening) are expected for levels 1 through 6?

Satisfactory completion of a level in the Language and Culture Center represents the achievement of specific language objectives. These learning outcomes are described in detail by level in the following links.

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6

NOTE: Students who have successfully completed Level 6 in the Language and Culture Center are not required to present a TOEFL score when seeking admission to undergraduate programs and some graduate programs at the University of Houston.