ASLPI Functional Descriptions
Able to use signs, fingerspelling, numbers, and ASL grammar with superior native-like fluency and accuracy on all conversational levels. The superior signer uses the language with complete flexibility and intuition acceptable by well-educated native speakers. The range of vocabulary is very broad and includes use of colloquial expressions and cultural references. Comprehension is excellent across a broad spectrum of topics.
Able to use ASL grammar and vocabulary with sufficient accuracy to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on social and work topics. There is spontaneous elaboration, when appropriate, on all familiar topics and unfamiliar topics alike. Vocabulary base is broad and conversation is fluent and shared. There is evidence of some colloquial use and cultural references. Comprehension is very good.
Able, with some confidence, to use some ASL grammar along with use of signs, fingerspelling, and numbers, in everyday communication needs related to social demands, work and/or study situations. In spite of occasional hesitations, there is fair to good control of everyday sign vocabulary with which to narrate and describe topics in some detail. In spite of some noticeable imperfections, errors rarely interfere with understanding. Comprehension is fairly good as repetition or rephrasing is needed only occasionally.
Able to satisfy basic social survival needs for work or study situations. Able to ask and answer routine questions with some skill in creating sign utterances based on learned or memorized vocabulary. Grammar control is clearly still under development, but there is occasional evidence of correct application. Vocabulary limitations are noticeable and fluency is still under development. Comprehension limitations are evident due to the need for more frequent repetition or rephrasing of questions or topics.
Able to use language with single sign utterances or short, routine sentences limited primarily to everyday social and work needs based on memorized vocabulary. Grammar is minimal and ability to use detail in any given situation is restricted due to vocabulary limitations. Any shared communication is very limited and comprehension clearly requires frequent repetition and/or rephrasing.
Able to communicate occasional isolated signs; little or no comprehension of even the most simplified and slowed communication; no functional language during the course of the interview.
Except for LEVEL 5, the scoring process sometimes results in the assignment of a plus value (+). This does not represent a midway point between two levels, but may be inferred to indicate that the examinee exceeds the requirements for a particular level but does not satisfy in all respects the requirements of the next higher level.