Document Type: Original Article


1 Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad university, Tehran, Iran

2 English Language Department, Faculty of humanities, Tarbiyat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Evaluating teacher candidates’ competencies, demonstrating that they are prepared to teach at high school level is inconceivable without clearly defined and agreed upon standards. Since EFL teachers’ language proficiency levels in the target language is a significant factor in teaching effectiveness, this study intended to set threshold listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency levels for the Iranian high school EFL teachers based on ACTFL proficiency guidelines. To this end, a concurrent mixed-method qualitative quantitative approach was conducted. Data were collected through conducting semi-structured interviews with 40 teacher educators and administering a seven-point Likert scale questionnaire to 212 high school EFL teachers. The results indicated that high school EFL teachers must be able to understand, speak, and write English at a minimum level of Advanced-Low and be able to read English at a minimum level of Advanced-Mid as defined in the ACTFL proficiency scale in order to teach English effectively. The results of this study can be used as benchmarks in prospective high school EFL teachers’ initial certification and licensing and in the design of pre-service EFL teacher education program at Farhangian University.


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