MEI’s language guidelines are in accordance with both ACTFL (American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages) and ILR (Interagency Language Roundtable) guidelines for teaching foreign languages.

  • ACTFL and ILR proficiency guidelines are addressed through the implementation of innovative and effective teaching methods.
  • All in-class activities (assignments, assessments, level exams, etc.) are designed to assess and test the skills and tasks required for each level of proficiency.
  • To schedule a placement conversation please our office at or 202-785-2710.

MEI Language Courses Will:

  • Design and develop teaching materials that effectively meet the standards of the aforementioned proficiency guidelines.
  • Integrate dialect acquisition into the language curriculum
  • Assign significant self-study work to make up for limited teaching hours and the 3 day break between classes.
  • Offer workshops and training sessions for MEI instructors by ACTFL and IRL, Lingua-Folio-StarTalk experts.
  • Offer preparation courses for certifications and official language proficiency exams.
  • Offer OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) assessments through MEI
  • Provide modernized classrooms that are conducive to learning environments



Can read and write words.

Can communicate to provide information about oneself and immediate surrounding using single words and memorized phrases.

Novice Low0

No practical proficiency


Can communicate minimally using isolated words and memorized phrases in very familiar contexts. Can form and respond to basic direct questions.

Novice Mid0

No practical proficiency


Can successfully manage a number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straightforward social situations involving predictable topics necessary for survival in the target language culture, such as basic personal information, simple objects, and a limited number of activities, preferences and immediate needs. Can respond to simple, direct questions or requests for information. Can also ask a few formulaic questions.

Novice High0+

Very limited practical proficiency
(memorized proficiency)

104 pre intermediate

Can communicate short messages and speak on a variety of everyday topics that affect the speaker directly.

Novice High II

Very limited practical proficiency


Can successfully handle a limited number of uncomplicated communicative topics and tasks necessary for survival in the target language such as basic personal information, family, daily activities and personal preferences.

Intermediate Low1

Elementary proficiency
(Functional limited proficiency)


Can successfully handle a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straightforward social situations necessary for survival in the target language such topics relating to basic personal information; including discussing one’s self, family, home, daily activities, interests and personal preferences as well as physical and social needs such as food, shopping, travel, and lodging. Can respond to and ask a variety of questions to obtain simple information to achieve basic needs, such as directions, prices, and services.

Intermediate Mid1

Elementary proficiency
(Functional limited proficiency)


Can converse with ease and confidence when handling routine tasks and social situations as well as demands related to work, school, recreation, particular interests, travel, accommodation, and areas of competence. Can narrate and describe in all major time frames using connected speech of paragraph length.

Intermediate High1+

Elementary proficiency


Can handle a variety of communicative tasks and routine social demands in addition to limited work related requirements and interactions. Can participate in most normal informal high frequency social conversation situations and some formal situations on topics related to school, home, leisure activities, and autobiographical information. Can speak about some topics related to employment, current events, and matters of public and community interest. Demonstrates the ability to narrate and describe in the major time frames of past, present and future in paragraph length discourse. Can appropriately handle the essential linguistic challenges presented by a complication or an unexpected turn of events. Can contribute to the conversation with sufficient accuracy, clarity, and precision to convey intended messages without misrepresentation or confusion.

Advanced Low2

Limited working proficiency


Can handle with ease and confidence a large number of communicative tasks. Can contribute to conversations on a variety of familiar topics with accuracy, clarity, and precision, and can convey intended messages without misrepresentation or confusion. Can participate actively in most informal and some formal exchanges on a variety of concrete topics relating to work, school, home, and leisure activities, as well as topics related to events of current, public, and personal interest. Demonstrates the ability to narrate and describe in the major time frames of past , present , and future, and can present narration and description interwoven together to narrate relevant and supporting facts in connected, paragraph-length discourse. Can handle successfully and with relative ease the linguistic challenges presented by a complication or unexpected turn of events that occur within the context of a routine situation or communication task with which one is otherwise familiar. Can typically ask and answer predicable questions in the workplace and give straightforward instructions to subordinates. Can participate in personal and accommodation-type interactions with elaboration and facility. Can give and understand complicated, detailed, and extensive directions and make non-routine changes in travel and accommodation arrangements. Speech is marked by substantial flow and a paragraph structure and vocabulary is fairly extensive.

Advanced Mid2

Limited working proficiency


Can perform all advanced level tasks with linguistic ease, confidence, and competence. Can engage in conversation on most social, formal, and informal interactions in a clearly participatory manner in order to communicate information on autobiographical topics, as well as topics of community and national interest. Language is abundant at the paragraph level with sufficient control of basic structure and generic vocabulary to be understood by native speakers. Can consistently explain in detail and narrate fully and accurately in all time frames. Can sometimes speak at length in professional contexts. Language structure is generally strong in either precision or vocabulary. Can handle tasks at the superior level. May provide a structural argument to support opinion, may construct hypotheses. Can discuss some topics abstractly, especially those relating to particular interests and special fields of expertise, being in general comfortable discussing a variety of topics concretely. Demonstrates a well-developed ability to compensate for an imperfect grasp of some forms or for limitations in vocabulary by the confident use of communication strategies such as paraphrasing, circumlocution, and illustration. Can use precise vocabulary and intonation to express meaning and often show great fluency and ease of speech. Is able to satisfy most work requirements in an acceptable and effective manner. Exhibits a high degree of fluency and ease of speech.

Advanced High2+

Limited working proficiency


Can communicate with sufficient structural accuracy, fluency and with extensive vocabulary in order to participate fully and effectively in conversations on a variety of topics in most formal and informal conversation settings in practical, social and professional contexts from both concrete and abstract perspectives. Can discuss interests and special fields of competence, can explain complex matters in detail, and provide lengthy and coherent narration, all with reasonable ease, fluency, and accuracy. Can present opinion on a number of issues of interest, such as social and political issues, providing structural arguments to support these opinions.

Can use the language as part of normal professional duties such as answering objections, clarifying points, justifying decisions , describing the essence of a challenge, stating and defending policy, conducting meetings, delivering briefings, or other extended and elaborate informative monologues.

Is able to construct and develop hypotheses to explore alternative possibilities. Can use when appropriate extended cohesive speech without unnaturally long hesitation to assert one’s opinion, even when engaged in abstract discussions. Use of structural devices is flexible and elaborate. Can use language clearly and relatively naturally to describe concepts freely and make ideas easily understandable to native speakers. Superior level employs a variety of interactive and discourse strategies, such as turn-taking and separating main ideas from supporting information through the use of syntactic, lexical, and phonetic devices. Superior level demonstrates no pattern of error in the use of basic structures. Can converse with native speakers in a standard dialect at a normal rate of speech.


Professional proficiency
(General professional proficiency)

Introduction to Media Arabic
(Green Book)

This course introduces Media Arabic, the language of print, broadcast and internet media, to students of Arabic in order to help them reach the Advanced I level. The course makes it possible for students to get familiar with media vocabulary and text structure on various topics through reading and watching news items on various topics while developing speaking skills.

Intermediate High Level of Arabic1+

Elementary proficiency

Media Arabic I
(Orange Book)

Students will read media texts while focusing on meaning and text structure. Course activities will include learning extensive vocabulary, discussing text meaning, speaking activities on the various topics discussed, presentations, and listening to and reading up to date texts.

Advanced Levels of Arabic2

Limited working proficiency

Media Arabic II (Advanced)
(Blue Book)

This course covers a wide range of vocabularies, varied drills, and exercises on a variety of media topics. This course helps learners to build their confidence towards comprehending media Arabic language. Additional authentic texts and listening will familiarize the learner with recent events in the Arab world and elsewhere. Class presentations will help learners to develop their speaking activities while activating the new vocabulary.

Advanced High/Superior Levels of Arabic2+

Limited working proficiency