AFCLC, Air Force Culture and Language Center, Air Force's Global Classroom

Taking the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): A Vital Readiness Indicator

  • Published
  • By Mr. Howard Ward, AFCLC

LEAP Scholars,


I want to talk to you about an important topic that deals with turning your LEAP education into a more precise measurement of military readiness—the OPI.  The OPI provides data that offers planners a more refined picture of “right airman, right skill, right place, right time” when filling billets requiring LREC skills or contingencies where those skills add incredible value.


As a matter of practicality, I can’t think of a mission where you could be called off the LEAP bench to contribute that doesn’t involve speaking.  Yet our numbers in LEAP are low when it comes to taking the DOD standardized assessment of the speaking modality.  That’s why we’ve set a goal to increase the percentage of LEAP scholars with current OPIs.  With this data in the personnel system of record, it becomes easier and more likely that the skills will be sourced so that the Air Force can realize return on investment.


There are added benefits of the OPI within LEAP itself.  With an OPI score, AFCLC staff can do a better job facilitating advanced LITE opportunities where scholars can enhance their skills in applied learning venues.  The other benefit will be in more accurate placement into developmental LITEs and eMentor courses.  In the data we’ve accumulated, we can see effective placement leads to more effective learning.


AFCLC needs your help to reach some specific goals on OPI scores.  We have set a goal to have 50 percent of LEAP with a current OPI score by 1 Jul 2020.  Our target for 1 Jul 2021 is 85 percent of scholars with a current score.  The AFCLC Language Development Coordinators will be talking about this with you as you’re scheduled for various educational opportunities.  In the meantime, please work with your base education center to schedule an OPI as soon as practical to enhance your LEAP education as well as to establish a key readiness metric for interoperability with air forces and civilian populations around the world.


Thanks for being great Airmen in our United States Air Force and for being extraordinary scholars in LEAP.  We are a better, more capable Air Force because you are part of it.


With deepest respect,

Mr. Howard Ward

Director, Air Force Culture and Language Center

AFCLC emblem. Air Force Culture and Language Center. Air Force's Global Classroom.

551 E. Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 500, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112


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