How much do you know about OPI in Russian?
OPI in Russian (Oral Proficiency Interview) is probably one of the hardest exams that a non-native speaker has to face in order to officially prove one’s skills. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages has very detailed standards on what one has to be able to do to get a certificate.
We refer to these standards as Can-Do Statements.
What are Can-Do Statements?
According to the standards, there are ten levels of how well one knows Russian. These levels start from Novice Low and going up to the Superior level. Can-Do Statements are different for each level, but the point for them stays the same. A person has to be able to communicate and transfer specific information to and from the instructor.
It would be enough for the beginners, for instance, to be able to introduce themselves and speak in very simple sentences about some familiar topics. Speakers of more advanced levels, on the other hand, the candidate has to be able to express opinions on some more complex topics.
For instance, the question might go about the difference in distance education comparing it to a more traditional approach. To score the question, one has to list similarities and differences clearly and comprehensively.
Why OPI in Russian? Why speaking?
Comparing to any other language-related activity, speaking is considered the most complicated task. Takes both knowledge and creativity to make content that would comply with all the criteria. Even more, it has to be done right on the spot. No time to think, no way to prepare for this specific question.
The good news is that it is possible to prepare for this exam. There are ways to improve communicative skills and practice effective speaking for any topic.
When preparing through the communicative approach, one can not only be ready for any question during the exam but also improve the ability to speak well in general.
Why not to try?
OPI in Russian is a challenge, and this is a good thing. Challenges help up to move forward and become stronger, smarter, and more capable. In other words, learning gives us more things that we CAN-DO, and this is my statement. Level-up is a bonus, but the real reward is to be able to speak, read, and understand in Russian.