Language Testing

Language Proficiency Testing

DLS has performed testing for federal agencies, the US military, and private corporations for over 30 years. Speaking, listening, reading, and translation tests are based on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) guidelines. Tests can be administered in person at our offices, or by phone for candidates in remote locations. All testers are native speakers and are trained to administer examinations in accordance with the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) protocol. Translation tests require 1 hour while language proficiency tests (speaking, listening, reading) require 1.5 hours. You receive a Language Proficiency Certificate upon completion, and written feedback is available upon request.

DLS also offers customized, performance-based language tests tailored to specific client needs.

DLS adheres to all required security measures and we have in-house quality control procedures to ensure test integrity.

With our large pool of language professionals, DLS has the ability to schedule tests on short notice.

Over the past 10 years, DLS has conducted more than 2,000 proficiency exams for clients including:

  • Booz-Allen Hamilton
  • Fluor
  • IREX
  • ITT Exelis
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
  • U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service (FCS)
  • U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
  • U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI)

DLS is an approved language testing provider for several government agencies for both assignment and proficiency rating.

Language Testing Quick Facts

Tests performed


Languages offered

Language Proficiency Testing for ITT Exelis


DLS has been the vendor of choice to test potential linguists for ITT Exelis’ overseas positions. We assess the candidate’s proficiency in English, Albanian, Dari, Hindi, Pashto, Turkish, and Urdu based on the ILR scale.


Working together with our client, DLS designed a testing process that guarantees accurate examination scores. That process includes hiring testers that are native speakers, recording the oral exam, and providing scoring justifications based on the ILR level requirements. Going a step above, we provided expert guidance to ITT Exelis on how to avoid unnecessary testing and training expenses.

Description of Challenges

ITT Exelis requested “surge testing” for a large number of candidates in several countries outside the U.S. with only 3 weeks to prepare. Time differences were up to 9 hours, and unreliable internet and phone connections were involved.

Description of the Solution

DLS leveraged our specialists’ know-how and skills to develop effective tests within the 3 week period. We have in-place best practices for handling communication failures during an exam. Additionally, DLS created and administered a translation screening test used earlier in the recruitment process to qualify candidates, ultimately saving time and money.


DLS remains ITT Exelis’ vendor of choice. This partnership, built on trust, allows our client to hire outstanding linguists while using a cost-efficient approach to testing.


Alma Sadikaj

Registrar and Client Relations Manager

Alma Sadikaj has several years of combined experience in international development, political affairs, program management, training and coaching, human resources and recruitment, logistics and operations, education, administration, marketing, sales, and client relations. Prior to joining us, Alma worked in both the non-profit and private sectors. Her passion is travel. During those journeys, she acquires insights about how cultures and languages are linked.