The American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) is a language evaluation program used to determine a user’s ASL proficiency. The goal in this type of evaluation is to find out, through a face-to-face interview, an individual’s ability to communicate in the target language at a given point in time. The ASLPI is a 20-30 minute video recorded interactive dialogue between the examinee and the interviewer. The video is then reviewed by a group of raters to determine the proficiency of the examinee, where an overall proficiency level between 0 and 5 is awarded.

An interviewer is a person who asks a series of questions to elicit a language sample representative of the candidate’s language proficiency.

A rater is a person who assesses and measures a candidate’s expressive and receptive proficiency level using ASL. A checklist of linguistic features is used.


Who is this service for?

Schools, organizations, agencies, federal and provincial governments, Deaf clubs, interpreters, professionals, universities, colleges, mental health organizations can use the certified ASL interviewers and raters. CCSD maintains a list of all interviewers and raters who have successfully completed the training.

The ASL Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) can be used to evaluate individuals such as teachers, teacher aides, kitchen staff, administrators, secretaries, janitorial staff, program coordinators, social workers, ASL instructors, Deaf relay interpreters, voice interpreters, nurses, residential counsellors, etc.

Who is responsible for billing and payment of services provided?

All contracts are arranged directly between the individuals providing the American Sign Language proficiency interview/rating and the agency or individual requesting the service.  Therefore, individuals providing the ASL interview/rating will be responsible for billing.  The agency or individual requesting the service will be responsible to pay the interviewer/rater directly.

Why does CCSD endorse this program?

ASL is the language of the Deaf community in Canada.  The ASLPI will help to preserve and protect ASL as a language in its true form since this assessment clearly describes the expected features of ASL as used by the Deaf community.

Bill 4 in Ontario, resolutions pertaining to ASL in Alberta and Manitoba among others have acknowledged ASL as the language to be used.

For over 30 years ASL has been recognized as a fully developed rule-governed language used by the majority of the Deaf community in Canada and used by hearing people as their second language for speeches, political meetings and at the workplace.  The need for a well considered standardized and effective tool for evaluating and encouraging skill development has grown considerably. As well, the need for well trained individuals to administer the ASLPI is also paramount.

What is the difference between an Interviewer and a Rater?

An interviewer follows a list of questions based on the needs of a certain workplace.  He/she will interview a candidate.  The two individuals sit face to face.  The videotaped interview lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.  All interviews are aimed at providing an opportunity to assess the candidate’s proficiency such as pronunciation/production, grammatical accuracy, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

The videotape is then sent to two qualified raters.  Their ratings will be averaged out and the candidate is given a number from 0 to 5 on the rating scale.  If the two raters provide a very different score, then a third rater is assigned to increase reliability of the result.

A rater assesses the candidate’s language proficiency level based on the aspects of ASL listed above.  They rate the candidate according to the following levels:

Level 0: Unable to function in the language
Level 1: Able to satisfy routine travel needs and minimum courtesy requirements
Level 2: Able to satisfy routine social demands and limited work requirements
Level 3: Able to sign ASL with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations pertaining to practical, social, and professional needs
Level 4: Able to use the language fluently and accurately on all levels pertaining to professional needs
Level 5: Language proficiency equivalent to that of a sophisticated native signer
Do you have a list? Yes, we do. You can contact trained interviewers and raters across Canada as follows
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