TEST OF ORAL PROFICIENCY:
The Second Language Evaluation — Test of Oral Proficiency (SLE-TOP) evaluates your ability to speak and understand your second official language (English or French). A certified assessor administers the test, which includes
language activities on work-related topics. The test is administered by telephone or face-to-face and lasts 20 to 40 minutes. It is divided into four parts, as follows:
Part 1: Questions and answers about work or other familiar activities
You answer brief questions about your work or other familiar activities (e.g. studies or volunteer activities, if you are not currently employed) for which short, factual responses are expected.
2 Duration: two to six minutes.
Part 2: Evaluation of oral comprehension and expression: short messages and brief conversations
1 You listen to two short voice-mail messages (10 to 15 seconds each) and two short work-related conversations (30 to 35 seconds each).
2 After listening twice to each recording, you are asked to identify the reason for the call, what needs to be done, or what help is being offered.
3 Duration: about seven minutes.
Part 3: Talk with follow-up questions
1 The assessor proposes three topics for the talk.
2 You choose one topic and have a minute and a half to prepare a talk about it.
3 Your talk will last two to three minutes.
4 Following your talk, you will be asked to answer some follow-up questions.
5. Duration: 10 to 12 minutes.
Part 4: Evaluation of oral comprehension and expression: lengthy conversation
1. You listen to a two-minute recording of a work- related conversation between two people at a meeting.
2. After listening to the recording twice, you are asked to provide a brief summary of its content and answer some related questions.
3. Duration: 11 to 13 minutes.
The degree of difficulty of the TOP gradually increases. The assessor will inform you of the different phases of the test. Based on the degree of proficiency you demonstrate during the test, the assessor will determine whether you have to take all four parts of it, or just the first two or three. The assessor uses a computer to select the questions and play the recordings, as well as to save the test as a whole.