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DSCA 08-36

Memo Status : Active
DoD Shield

DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY
201 12th STREET SOUTH, STE 203
ARLINGTON, VA 22202-5408

10/6/2008

MEMORANDUM FOR :

SEE DISTRIBUTION

SUBJECT :

FY 09 ECL AND OPI COUNTRY EXEMPTION LISTS, DSCA Policy 08-36

The following provides the FY09 English Comprehension Level (ECL), Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) country exemption lists based on review by the Combatant Commands, MILDEPS, Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC), and Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). OPI requirements cited in service regulations or instructions must be coordinated with DLIELC prior to inclusion. Information on the ECL and OPI tests is available under English language training on the international training management web page at http://www.disam.dsca.mil/itm/.

The following 22 countries are exempt from all in-country and CONUS ECL, TOEFL and OPI testing: Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad, and the United Kingdom. (Note: students from Pakistan scheduled for senior PME courses are also exempt from in-country and CONUS ECL, TOEFL and OPI testing.)

The following 38 countries are exempt from in-country ECL testing: Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Uganda, Vanuatu, Samoa, and Zambia. (Note: in-country ECL testing is required for students from Israel scheduled for senior Professional Military Education (PME) courses.).

  • Student Invitational Travel Order (ITO) should be appropriately marked to indicate that the student is exempt from in-country ECL testing but is required to take an ECL test upon arrival at the first training installation in CONUS.
  • In-country ECL testing may be required for critical courses, including Army senior PME courses, or if a Specialized English Training (SET) waiver is requested.
  • Security Assistance Officers (SAOs) have the option of conducting ECL testing regardless of country exemption if concerned with the student English language capabilities.

The following 49 countries have a minimum 55-ECL exemption: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC)/(Kinshasa), Cote D' Ivoire, Djibouti, East Timor, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Niger, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Sao Tome, Southern Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.

The following policy guidance pertains to ECL testing:

  • Students from countries listed above that are exempt from all ECL testing requirements or in-country ECL testing must continue to demonstrate successful English language performance during training or country exemption will be withdrawn. Countries should keep an American Language Center Placement Test (ALCPT) on hand to screen OPI candidates to determine whether or not they are within range (at least 80 for a 2/2 requirement) prior to requesting an OPI, and to assess cases that seem questionable.
  • All applicable forfeiture charge(s) will be applied when a student's failure to meet the prerequisite ECL on "CONUS direct entry ECL tests" results in rescheduling or cancellation of the direct entry training and/or subsequent training track lines due to language deficiency. Forfeiture charge(s) will also be applied when students attending English language training at DLIELC fail to meet the language requirement for follow-on training, resulting in rescheduling or cancellation of the follow-on training.
  • Countries under IMET sponsorship that are exempt from the minimum 55 ECL score for DLIELC entry should make every effort to establish a minimum in-country 55 ECL capability. Countries that are not able to purchase appropriate English language equipment and materials to develop an in-country ability to reach a 55 ECL due to a small IMET program, or other considerations which make this economically infeasible, will remain on the exemption list. Combatant commands are required to present, NLT 30 October each year, a proposed plan of action to update the exemption lists for CONUS and in-country testing. This plan will be submitted to DLIELC and forwarded to DSCA. The goal is the eventual graduation of countries from the exemption list or else the development of appropriate justifications for countries remaining on the exemption list.
  • Students from countries not reflected on the above exemption lists must have the minimum 55 ECL before attending English language training at DLIELC.
  • SAOs have the option of conducting ECL testing regardless of in-country exemption if concerned with the student capabilities.
  • Requests for additions/deletions of countries to/from the above lists should be forwarded by the Combatant Commands to DSCA with info to DLIELC and the MILDEPs.

Students from non-exempt countries (all countries except those listed in the second paragraph) must meet the TOEFL requirements established for admission to graduate programs offered by several DoD institutions. The test is administered in Paper-Based (PBT), Computer-Based (CBT) or Internet-Based (IBT) form. Scores are valid for two years from the date of the test and must be current when the student reports to the institution.

  • Requirements are as follows (required scores refer to PBT/CBT/IBT test forms):
    • Naval Post Graduate School (TOEFL institution code 4831): 560/220/83
    • National Defense University (TOEFL institution code 7026): 560/220/83
    • Army War College - Resident Program (TOEFL institution code 8274)
      560/220/83, Army War College-Distance Education Program
      (TOEFL institution code 8274): 560/220/83
    • Air Force Institute of Technology (TOEFL institution code 1827): 540/207/76.
    • Marine Corps University - Marine Corps War College, Marine Corps University
      International Fellows Program, School of Advanced Warfighting,
      Marine Corps Command and Staff College (TOEFL institution code 1453): 560/220/83.
    • (Note: National Defense University, Army War College and Marine Corps Command and Staff College resident courses require the TOEFL only if student is pursuing a master's degree.)
  • DLIELC offers a TOEFL preparatory academic writing course, MASL D177022, for students scoring below 560/220/83 but above 513/183/65.

The following 17 countries are exempt from in-country OPI testing: Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. As appropriate:

  • SAOs for countries not listed above should schedule a required telephonic OPI with DLIELC as early as practicable. Candidate must first satisfy ECL requirement in-country to qualify for OPI testing. ECL-exempt countries should keep an ALCPT on hand to screen OPI candidates prior to requesting an OPI. The OPI is an oral complement to the ECL, they are time-consuming and labor-intensive and should be requested judiciously.
  • Students from countries listed as exempt from OPI requirements must continue to demonstrate appropriate proficiency skills during training or country exemption will be withdrawn.
  • Countries exempt from in-country OPI testing should ensure their students are language qualified. Forfeiture charges will apply when a student's failure to qualify on direct entry OPI testing results in rescheduling or cancellation of training.
  • If in-country OPI testing is required for a SET waiver, candidate must meet required in-country ECL/ALCPT prior to scheduling OPI.
  • In-country OPI testing is required for students from non-exempt countries enrolled in courses requiring 85 ECL and 2+/2+ OPI. An International Military Student Officer (IMSO) with students from countries granted an in-country OPI exemption should schedule a telephonic OPI with DLIELC immediately after student arrives at the training location. However, in-country OPI testing is required for students from non-exempt countries enrolled in the Public Affairs Qualification Course (MASL B164590).
  • Student ITO should be marked in the remarks box to indicate that the student is exempt from in-country OPI testing, but is required to take an OPI test upon arrival at the first training installation in CONUS.

SAOs may require an OPI if concerned with student language capabilities. SAOs are strongly encouraged to schedule in-country OPI tests for all candidates with an OPI requirement that exceeds 2, since levels 2+ and above require extensive language training time. Insure candidate scores minimum of 85 on in-country ECL/ALCPT prior to scheduling an OPI.

ECL-exempt countries can request internet-based ALCPT to establish candidates' eligibility for required OPI testing. Internet-based testing is available on a case-by-case basis under the following conditions: 1) country is ECL and/or OPI exempt and does not have an active ECL test-site, 2) country can provide a test control officer IAW DLIELC Instruction 1025.15 who will log-on candidate in U.S. facility and remain in room during testing, and 3) U.S. facility has high speed internet connection. Submit internet based testing request via e-mail to: dlitesting@lackland.af.mil

The above in-country ECL and OPI testing exemptions listed in the third and seventh paragraphs respectively do not apply to exercises and competitions, ship crew training, and training at civilian institutions that may require language testing IAW standards established by the U.S. Host organization. This language prerequisites/testing requirements may be referenced in the message/invitation announcing the exercise/competition/ship crew training/training at civilian institutions and are defined in the applicable training plan and/or LOA. Any request to waive testing requirements for exercises or competitions will be directed to the U.S. host organization.

DSCA POC is Kay Judkins and JP Hoefling (Programs/BPC Division) at commercial telephone: (703) 601-3719/3655, DSN telephone: 329-3719/3655, commercial fax: (703) 604-6540, DSN fax: 664-6540.

Pete Cornell
Director, Building Partners Capacity Division
Programs Directorate

DISTRIBUTION :
As stated

U.S. ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE COMMAND
DIRECTOR SECURITY ASSISTANCE TRAINING
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

NAVY INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL TRAINING POLICY
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE/INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
DIRECTOR SECURITY ASSISTANCE INTERNATIONAL TRAINING POLICY
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND
LOGISTICS, ENGINEERING AND SECURITY ASSISTANCE DIRECTORATE
SECURITY ASSISTANCE
TRAINING PROGRAM MANAGER (J452)
U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND
STABILITY DIRECTORATE
MANAGER SECURITY ASSISTANCE TRAINING PROGRAMS (SCST-SA)
U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. AFRICA COMMAND
SECURITY COOPERATION AND PROGRAMS DIRECTORATE
CHIEF COMBINED EDUCATION BRANCH
U.S. AFRICA COMMAND

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND
LOGISTICS AND SECURITY ASSISTANCE DIRECTORATE
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRAINING (ECJ4-IC)
U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
STRATEGY, PLANS AND POLICY DIRECTORATE
INTERNATIONAL TRAINING (J5-PPP)
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND