Level 1: Beginner
few words, many hesitations, no ability to extend conversation
Level 2: Low â€“ Intermediate
simple answers, little conversation, many errors
Whatâ€™s your name?
Where are you from?
What time is it?
Where is the teacher?
Where are the flowers?
What is Jane doing?
(point to picture 4)
How many pictures are there?
How long have you lived in Colorado?
What did you do yesterday?
Do you have a hobby? >> What is it?
What are Mike and Sue doing?
(point to picture 3)
Whatâ€™s happening in this picture?
(point to picture 5)
Where are the people in picture 1?
Level 3: Intermediate â€“ High
some elaboration, can converse with errors and some hesitations
Level 4: Advanced
lots of elaboration & interaction, errors donâ€™t hinder communication
Have you ever taken the TOEFL test?
>> What was your score?
(paper 525 / computer 197 >> try L4)
Can you tell me what some of the differences are between Colorado and
Whatâ€™s your favorite season? >> Why?
In picture 1, who will not get wet?
What happened to Sam and what should he do next?
What did Tom Smith do? >> Why?
Whatâ€™s the most memorable vacation youâ€™ve ever had? >> Can you tell me
more about it?
Can you describe the health care system in your country? >> What do
you think about it?
What do you want to be doing in five years? >> Do you think itâ€™s
If I were to go to your country as a tourist, what should I see?
Choose one of these pictures and tell me a short story about it.
ISI 2003 Photocopiable www.isifc.org
Instructions for testing:
1. Introduce yourself first.
2. If the student appears responsive and able to converse, begin with level 3
questions. If the student appears confused or very shy, begin with level 2.
3. Speak at a normal pace while testing, slowing down and offering
explanations only if the student is unable to understand. (If this occurs often,
try a lower level.)
4. When finished, please circle the appropriate level number on the intake
Levels â€“ 1 and 2 are pre-conversational, 3 and 4 are conversational
Level 3 questions: Ask a couple of questions of your choice and listen
for hesitations, errors, and vocabulary problems. If you are maintaining a
conversation but find yourself asking for clarification or correcting the
student frequently, or if the pace is slow, you have a level 3 student. If you
experience no difficulty, move on to level 4 without asking all level 3
questions. If you have a lot of trouble maintaining conversation, drop down to
level 2 questions.
Level 4 questions: If the student is able to continue with little
difficulty and gives extended answers and keeps a steady pace with few
hesitations, you have a level 4 student. Some errors are expected but they
should not hinder communication. If the student has difficulty, go back to level
3 questions. You may have a level 3 or level 3/4 student.
Note: a high TOEFL score does not mean the student is automatically
Level 2 questions: Ask a couple of questions and if the student answers
quickly and easily, try level 3 without asking all level 2 questions. If level 3
is too difficult, you may have a level 2/3 student. If the student does not
understand or cannot answer easily, move to level 1.
Level 1 questions: Whether or not the student can answer any of the
questions, you have a level 1 student if level 2 is too difficult.
Used by permission. This is an ESL intake test used by International
Students, Inc. (a nonprofit organization) at Colorado State University. It
assesses oral communication ability. A separate page of drawings has not been
included due to copyright. The drawings are: 1) Ann and Bill standing in the
rain, Sara and Peter walking with an umbrella; 2) Sam with a paintbrush in his
hand and his foot stuck in a paint bucket, another painter on a ladder behind
him; 3) Mike and Sue reading a travel guide; 4) Jane sitting on a stack of
books, reading; 5) Peter Jones handing Sally Jones a pot of flowers; 6) Tom
Smith carrying shopping bags filled with painting supplies, a paint store with a
'big sale' sign behind him; 7) Mrs. Adams sitting behind a table with a book and
an apple, pointing to a math equation on a blackboard.