Spanish Language Proficiency Exam

  • Testing Process

    Teacher and some special service provider candidates applying for Spanish designated assignments with Denver Public Schools (DPS) will be required to successfully complete a Spanish language proficiency (SLP) exam proctored by the Berlitz Corporation. The District has partnered with Berlitz Languages, Inc. to facilitate and proctor this exam. Berlitz will also facilitate and proctor the SLP exam for English Language Acquisition (ELA) paraprofessional candidates who are required to speak Spanish as part of their positions. See the instructions below if you are a candidate for a ELA Spanish-speaking paraprofessional position.

    Teachers and Candidates for Teaching Positions: Registering for SLP Exam(s)

    Berlitz has locations worldwide to administer the DPS SLP exam. This exam is a prerequisite for all bilingual (Spanish/English) teacher and some special service provider candidates. The District requires all English Language Acquisition–Spanish (ELA-S) teacher candidates and some special service providers to successfully complete the DPS SLP exam before being considered for positions that require Spanish and English instruction and delivery.

    Click here to register to take the SLP test.


    Cost and Reimbursement Process

    Each test attempt (speaking, reading and writing) costs $150.00. Once a candidate successfully completes the exam and is hired to perform in the capacity of an ELA-S designated assignment, they can submit a request for $150 in reimbursement via the ProComp system. To see more about Procomp and the Tuition Reimbursement program, please click here.

    To apply for SLP exam reimbursement, click here for the Tuition Reimbursement Form.

    The cost breakdown per test is:

    • $70 - Test of Speaking Skills
    • $40 - Test of Writing Skills
    • $40 - Test of Reading Comprehension Skills

     

    About the SLP Exam for Teacher Candidates

    Administered by Berlitz Languages, Inc., the SLP exam for ELA-S teachers consists of three components (speaking, writing, and reading).

    Applicants new to DPS or internal teachers who change assignments into ELA-S positions must pass all portions of the SLP Exam to be considered by the Department of Human Resources as Spanish-qualified applicants. However, in the event a teacher candidate does not pass all three portions of the SLP on their first attempt, the passing of the Speaking Skills test and one other portion of the exam may meet the minimum standard for initial hire into an ELA-S position. If a teacher is hired after passing only those two portions of the SLP exam, the third and final portion must be successfully passed no later than by the second February of their employment with the District.

    Additionally, if an applicant fails any portions of the exam, he or she is allowed to retake that portion of the exam only two more times within one calendar year. It is suggested that candidates wait at least 30 days between additional attempts to pass the exam.

    Both the initial exam and any portion that must be retaken can be scheduled at your convenience via Berlitz Languages, Inc.

    Speaking Skills Exam

    The Berlitz Test of Speaking Skills is a validated oral proficiency testing system designed to accurately measure the examinee’s active oral communicative ability in a professional setting. This testing system is based on a guided 20-minute dialogue between the Berlitz Rater and the examinee by telephone. The raters are native-fluent in their test languages and trained to lead a Berlitz Test of Speaking Skills in a professional and pleasant manner.

    Through a series of questions, prompts, and tasks set in a professional context, the Berlitz Rater elicits oral language production from the examinee. It is measured in the areas of fluency, grammatical accuracy, lexical range, and phonological control. Results are based on the Common European Framework—one of the most widely used and recognized language proficiency scales in the world.

    Writing Exam

    Examinees can choose between two topics. Both topics are related to school situations.

    Reading Comprehension Exam

    The reading test consists of five paragraphs followed by 25 questions.

    Exam Results

    Berlitz will provide results to examinees and DPS within five business days of the exam delivery date. The following are the minimum passing scores for each portion of the SLP exam:

    • Speaking Skills (minimum passing): B2, on a scale of A0, A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. (Passing scores include B2, C1, and C2)
    • Writing Skills (minimum passing): 3 out of possible 5
    • Reading Comprehension (minimum passing): 18, out of a possible 25

     

    Retaking the SLP Exam
    If you failed any portion of the SLP exam and want to retake it, please register with Berlitz by clicking on the following link:

    Test Reports
    Examinees may request their report by emailing dps@berlitz.com. There is a $50 fee to the examinee per report.

     

    Exam(s) for ELA Paraprofessional Candidates Required to Speak Spanish

    Upon receiving an offer of employment that requires you to act in a bilingual (Spanish/English) capacity as an ELA paraprofessional, the Department of Human Resources, school principal, or hiring manager will inform candidates to register and successfully pass the District’s SLP exam. Please note: This SLP exam is not the same exam that teachers are required to pass.

    Effective April 10, 2017, ELA paraprofessional candidates applying for Spanish designated assignments with DPS are required to successfully complete a SLP exam proctored by Berlitz Testing. DPS Multicultural Services will no longer proctor these tests.

    About the SLP Exam for Paraprofessional Candidates

    The SLP exam for ELA paraprofessional candidates consists of two parts: Speaking Skills and Reading Comprehension. The exam, consisting of both parts – Speaking and Reading – costs $70.

    Speaking Skills

    The Berlitz Test of Speaking Skills is a validated oral proficiency testing system designed to accurately measure the examinee’s active oral communicative ability in a professional setting. This testing system is based on a guided 20-minute dialogue between the Berlitz Rater and the examinee by telephone. Our raters are native-fluent in their test languages and trained to lead a Berlitz Test of Speaking Skills in a professional and pleasant manner.

    Through a series of questions, prompts, and tasks set in a professional context, the Berlitz Rater elicits oral language production from the examinee. It is measured in the areas of fluency, grammatical accuracy, lexical range, and phonological control. Results are based on the Common European Framework—one of the most widely used and recognized language proficiency scales in the world.

    Reading Comprehension

    The reading test consists of three to five paragraphs with 12 questions.

    Passing Scores for the DPS paraprofessional SLP exam:

    • Speaking Skills (minimum passing): B1, on the following scale: A0, A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. (Passing scores include B1, B2, C1, and C2)
    • Reading Comprehension (minimum passing): 8, out of a possible 12

     

    Click here to register to take the SLP test.

    Reimbursement Process for newly hired ELA paraprofessional positions: Once a candidate has passed the SLP exam and becomes a DPS employee, they can apply for reimbursement of the original $70 exam cost through an Employee Reimbursement form.

    Click here for the Employee Reimbursement form.

    At Course Title/Dates, enter “Paraprofessional Berlitz Exam.” At Educational Institution / Provider, enter “Berlitz Testing.”