Our Rating Scale - Parrot

Our Rating Scale

Clear, Reliable Ratings

The Parrot rating scale is based on the US government’s preferred language proficiency standard.

About the ILR

The Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) coordinates the US government’s approach to language learning and assessment. As part of their work, they developed a framework for measuring language proficiency. That framework allows different agencies to communicate about language skills with a standardized, uniform language. As a result, the ILR scale is the most widely used scale in the government, commercial, and academic sectors. Because Parrot’s certifications align with the ILR scale, a Parrot rating represents a person’s proficiency in that language.

Measuring the Skills that Matter

Because Parrot tests speaking proficiency specifically for the workplace, our test requires speakers to use language to manage workplace situations. In other words, a Parrot rating doesn’t reflect abstract skill, but the speaker’s ability to use language successfully at work.

For companies that have more specific or unique requirements, we offer the option of industry-specific prompts. These prompts place the speaker not just in general workplace scenarios, but in the those they will face in a specific workplace, position, or industry.

Workplace Langauge Skills Test

Targeting Workplace Proficiency

The ILR scale runs from 0-5, with both a base and a “plus level” for each number. Because our test measures proficiency specifically in the workplace, we have isolated the range of proficiency that is relevant to the workplace. A speaker with a rating below ILR2, or “Limited Workplace Proficiency,” is considered to have inadequate language skills for a typical professional environment. On the other hand, ratings above ILR3, or “General Workplace Proficiency,” represent distinctions of proficiency that are above typical workplace needs. Explore the three levels of Parrot certification below.

ILR Rating 2

Limited Workplace Proficency

An ILR2 rated speaker can:

  • Handle routine interactions with a limited scope
  • Describe objects and narrate events
  • Handle unanticipated complications
ILR Level 2 Plus

Limited Workplace Proficiency Plus

An ILR2+ rated speaker can:

  • Show fluency in specific areas of competence
  • Describe and narrate with ample detail
  • Handle complications with ease
IL Rating 3

General Workplace Proficiency

An ILR3 rated speaker can:

  • Participate in extensive, supported discussion
  • Manage unfamiliar workplace situations
  • Avoid errors that impact understanding

Note: in some cases, a Parrot client will request a test be built around a specific pass/fail threshold. In those cases, a certificate will not provide a numerical rating, but instead will state whether the candidate passed the test or not. Such ratings are relative to the specific parameters of that test instance and are not considered to make a transferrable claim as to the candidate’s general language skills.

Meet Our Rating Guru

Bill Hindle's Headshot

Bill Hindle

As a member of the ILR’s testing committee, Bill understands the ILR scale inside and out. He has drawn on this experience, as well as his three decades spent in language learning and assessment, to craft our innovative testing and rating methodologies. The result? A test built to meet the practical needs of today’s workplace by generating ratings that any hiring manager can trust.

What makes Parrot reliable?

By focusing on workplace skills, isolating relevant proficiency, and building our test and rating system around the ILR scale, we’re creating a new standard for workplace language testing. Of course, none of that would matter if our results weren’t also unquestionably valid. As such, we’ve fine-tuned our method to meet and exceed key industry standards for validity. Download our report to learn more.

Parrot Validity Report

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