The language proficiency interview (LPI) was developed to evaluate oral skills and communicative competency. The Peace Corps uses this interviewing technique to evaluate the language level of volunteers when they enter the country, at the end of their three month training cycle and finally at the end of their two year service. The interview lasts about 30 minutes and during this time it is important to use a wide range of vocabulary, speak with fluidity and use verb tenses correctly.

There are four major levels of Spanish Proficiency with many subdivisions. They look a little something like this:


Superior -High



                                                 Advanced-Mid                      (level now!)









                                                                 Novice-Low                                (starting level)

When I got to Nicaragua, I was at Novice Low. I could say “hello, how are you?” and I could identify various objects around the room. It was nearly impossible for me to form sentences unless I had memorized them previously. I was in the lowest level possible.

After 1 ½ months of intensive language training and countless emotional break downs I had advanced to Novice High. At the end of the 3 month training cycle, I had advanced just a little more to Intermediate Low. I still made a ridiculous amount of errors and needed to continue studying to be fluent enough to be successful in a work environment.  When I started work in my site I looked for someone in my town that could teach me Spanish. That is when I found Claudia, whom is now one of my best friends in the entire world. I spent much of my first 3 months in site at Claudia’s house as she corrected my grammar and taught me a lot about the Nicaraguan culture.  After a while, we began to chat about whatever topic was on our minds, laughing and cracking jokes.  From then on, I had tried to speak Spanish the most/best I could.

Yesterday, two years into my Peace Corps experience, I took my final Language Proficiency Interview. I was incredibly nervous, yet seemed to keep my calm as I spoke about a variety of topics with the interviewer. Unsure of how I had done on the interview, I could hardly wait until today to find out my final level. I was hoping for Advanced-Low. Today, I received my level.  I am an Advanced-Mid Level Spanish Speaker!  I have jumped 7 levels! CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers to all of us who have come so far! You can do ANYTHING if you put your mind to it!


6 responses to “LPI

  1. You continue to amaze me…I knew you would ROCK the test!!! Congrats and the days are flying by…it was just 5 months left and now it is only a little over 3 months…so enjoy looking at your pictures and miss your smiling face!! Again, keep up the great work in your little corner of the world!! Hugs to you…did you get my package yet? Love Ya!

  2. I don’t think I say it enough, I’m so proud of you Ashley! In all that you’ve done for others and your personal successes!!! You amaze me with you passions to learn so many new things!!!

    Love ya!!

  3. That’s an amazing accomplishment, Ashley! Felicidades!

  4. Amazing things!! You just keep on keeping on and it is above and beyond any hopes anyone could have ever had for you! You are spectacular!!!

  5. You are amazing!!! But we always knew that. Your drive beyond words. Can’t wait for you to get home…………miss you.

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