LPL Program Description/ LPL Descripción del Programa

LPL Mission

With the growing need for Hispanic teachers in the public school system, Hispanic students need role models, coaches, and mentors who can inspire and spark dreams of success and innovation. LPL taps into the talents of the Hispanic community to develop qualified teachers with a fluency in language, culture, and literacy. 


LPL Program 

The University of North Florida (UNF), College of Education and Human Services provides a Language Proficiency Lab (LPL) to  enable candidates for entry-level into the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) as part of the State’s effort to address teacher shortages.   


LPL is designed to prepare Hispanic individuals interested in teaching with language and cultural proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Candidates will learn to express basic ideas with native-like control over the English language as well as know the laws and cultural differences that make up the education in America.  


LPL is meant to meet the need for more teachers in the Hispanic community. It is designed to increase access into the teaching profession for Hispanic professionals, increase diversity in Florida’s teaching force, and positively impact the education and lives of Hispanic students.   


 The Course 

Course Description: 

This curriculum is designed for candidates in the LPL program with Limited to Intermediate Academic English Language Proficiency (LAEL). The course focuses on the acquisition of English as a second language which requires the acquisition of linguistic structures and vocabulary, in conjunction with proficiency in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Candidates will begin by learning to express their basic needs and ideas and ultimately reach native like control of their new language. The LPL candidates come with a wealth of linguistic and cognitive skills thus facilitating the acquisition of a second language.  In addition, candidates will be introduced to the system of Education in America with emphasis on laws and the differences in cultures that make up the pluralistic society of this nation.  


Course Goals: 

The overall goal of LPL instruction is the acquisition of linguistic and communicative competence. Focus will be placed on: 

1. Language acquisition:  through the 4 major skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 

2. Linguistic competence: emphasizing the control of English language structures. 

3. Communicative competence: the purposeful use of structures to express needs within a social context.  


 Course Objectives:  

At the completion of the LPL course, candidates will be able to: 

1. Understand the grammatical structure (S V O) of the English language compared to their own language. 

2. Listen to native speakers, presenters, different speeches, videos in English, to develop listening and comprehension skills. 

3. Process the language heard in order to produce comprehensible output.  

4. Write a letter, or a composition using correct English spelling and structures. 

5. Give a comprehensible oral report in English related to their field of interest. 


Instruction Methods:  

 Lectures, roll-play, oral presentations, guest speakers, classroom observation, shadowing of teachers, music, videos, panel discussion ,debates, small groups, round table poster presentation and  simulation  activities. 



OPI Pre- and Post- Tests: 

The OPI Test will be administered to selected candidates at the level of low intermediate. This implies that candidates have survival English and they can communicate orally at a low intermediate level. For the writing part, we will administer a composition based on a choice of prompts. Each candidate will have to choose one option. This will be scored in a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. One of the questions for the test: “Why do you want to become a teacher?” 


OPI will be the Pre- and Post-test for LPL candidates. 


Testing for Proficiency - The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): 

As the demand for proficiency testing expands in both the academic and professional communities, the ACTFL Certified Testing Program, now in its 20th year, continues to distinguish itself as the nation's most recognized and comprehensive. 


About the ACTFL OPI: 

The ACTFL OPI Oral Proficiency Interview, or ACTFL OPI, is a standardized procedure for the global assessment of functional speaking ability. It is a face-to-face or telephonic interview between a certified ACTFL tester and an examinee that determines how well a person speaks a language by comparing his or her performance of specific communication tasks with the criteria for each of ten proficiency levels described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines-Speaking (Revised 1999) [pdf format].


The ten proficiency levels are: 


Intermediate Mid 

Advanced High 

Intermediate Low 

Advanced Mid 

Novice High 

Advanced Low 

Novice Mid 

Intermediate High 

Novice Low 


 Since the ACTFL OPI is an assessment of functional speaking ability, independent of any specific curriculum, it is irrelevant when, where, why and under what conditions the candidate acquired his/her speaking ability in the language. 


 The ACTFL OPI takes the form of a carefully structured conversation between a trained and certified interviewer and the person whose speaking proficiency is being assessed. The interview is interactive and continuously adapts to the speaking abilities of the individual being tested. The topics that are discussed during the interview are based on the interests and experiences of the test candidate. 


Through a series of personalized questions, the interviewer elicits from the test candidate examples of his or her ability to handle the communication tasks specified for each level of proficiency in order to establish a clear 'floor' and 'ceiling' of consistent functional ability. Often candidates are asked to take part in a role-play. This task provides the opportunity for linguistic functions not easily elicited through the conversational format. 


 LPL Completion and Beyond 

LPL Completers receive a scholarship to attend the Educator Preparation Institute following the LPL program. The EPI offers a ten-month combination of seven connected instructional modules, field experiences, and mentoring. The expectation is for LPL completers to continue on into the EPI program. 


Programmatic components of the EPI are integrated in ways that provide in-depth instruction and support to career changers as they prepare to become highly qualified, committed teachers. The EPI program addresses the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices and the Florida Department of Education professional competency testing requirements. Mastery of competencies is demonstrated in K-12 classroom settings and documented using state-approved formative and summative instrumentation. Mentoring is provided for the duration of the program.  


 EPI completers are awarded a credential from UNF’s College of Education and Human Services confirming completion of State EPI requirements for professional certification and eligibility to apply for a professional teaching certificate. 


 Request More Information


Betty Bennett, EPI Director 

University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224 

Tel: 904-620-1823, Fax: 904-620-1619, 


Dr. Otilia Salmon, Instuctor 

University of North Florida, 1UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224 

Tel: 904-620-1842  


Veronica Marquez, Asistente: 904-242-6742 (en Española)