Monday, November 12, 2007

Freelance Language Professionals Needed...

Do you speak Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa?

Are you available for a two 4-day all expenses paid trip ( plus $1000.00 incentive) to train as a Freelance Language Tester? The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages(ACTFL)is looking for native speakers of Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa for their tester trainee program.

A few days ago, I received this email…

"Dear Benedicta,
I came across your name on Nigerians in America, and I wanted to get in touch. I am currently trying to locate individuals who speak one of various languages from Nigeria to do freelance testing work from their homes. I also saw that you are a stay-at-home mother, so this type of work might potentially be of interest. I am especially looking for native speakers of Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. I need various individuals (5 for Hausa, 3 for Ibo and 5 for Yoruba), so if you know of anyone else who might be interested, please do let me know."

Anyhow, my first reaction was, hmmmmmmm better luck buddy with this new twist on 419 scam because I had no clue that there was any demand for native speakers of any African language by anyone in America; let alone the ACTFL. However, I was curious. And out of curiosity(after figuring out that the potential for kicking the bucket was absolutely zilch since I did not belong to the feline specie), I called her. I wanted some details. I wanted the full scoop.

Later, I emailed her a copy of my resume. Why? She’d asked for it. The following day, I was forwarded a copy of their upcoming training program. I was asked to pick a schedule that would work best for me. But, I was not about to commit to something that was somewhat up in the air with the basic logistics. So, I contacted them and asked for detailed clarifiction about this program. Here’s a Q&A of my communication with one of their consultants.

ME: Who schedules and pays for the flight to New York and hotel accommodations for both workshops?
ACTFL REP: Once you are confirmed in a given training session, you will receive a packet of information from ACTFL in addition to an e-mail with information and documents to sign and send back:
1.You can book your own travel and be reimbursed or you may use ACTFL’s corporate travel agent and have the expense billed directly to ACTFLs account.
2. ACTFL will make the lodging reservations and it will be billed to the ACTFL Master Account. (You will need to present a personal credit card upon hotel check in for incidentals.)
3. Except where a meal is provided by ACTFL, you will be reimbursed $13 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $31 for dinner. You don't need to submit receipts for meals since reimbursement is on a per diem meal basis.
4.You will be reimbursed for all travel expenses.
ME: Why are there two four day workshops?
ACTFL REP: Phase I: This workshop will be conducted in English. Tester trainees will learn about the ILR(international language review) rating scale and the OPI(oral proficiency interview) testing protocol and procedures. Demonstration interviews will be conducted in English.
Phase II: Tester trainees review rating criteria, learn interview strategies and protocols, and discuss questions and issues that have arisen since initial training. Practice interviews are conducted in the target languages during the workshop.
ME: How soon after the workshops can one expect to begin
administering tests?
ACTFL REP: Trainers who successfully complete all phases of the ILR OPI Tester training will receive a certificate from ACTFL. If you are successfully qualified as an ACTFL/ILR OPI Tester, you will be available to conduct and second rate interviews immediately, as needed.
ME: I understand that there’ll be a training incentive of
$1, that per workshop?.
ACTFL REP: The Honorarium is $500 per workshop which is paid after you submit your invoice after each workshop. ($1000 total)
ME: Would there be paper work of sort i.e freelancer contract, W-4, ACTFL point person contact information etc?
ACTFL REP: Yes, there is a contract (and various other documents), you will have to fill out prior to participation in the training.
ME: After certification, would there be prior warning for all
future evaluation/testing assignments? And how long do they
typically last?
ACTFL REP: Testers are asked each month to submit their availability to conduct proficiency interview tests in their qualified language. Interviews are scheduled during normal business hours (9am to 7pm). Testers are also expected to second rate interviews conducted by other testers. An internet-based tester utility is used for accessing tests and reporting scores. An ACTFL OPI interview which pays $40 per diem, generally lasts 15-30 minutes depending on the level of the person being tested.

If you’re interested in this opportunity, email or leave me a comment. In the meantime, to learn more about ACTFL testing, please swing by and for additional information.

Note: Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, or have a 3-5 year visa to work in the United States – a valid social security number is required. Qualified individuals must be educated native speakers of one of the languages listed above, and should have a college degree. A good command of English is also desirable.

P.S. As for me, I haven't decided yet. As enticing as the chance to get away for a few days from hubby and the kids may sound, I am leaning toward saying thanks, but no thanks to ACTFL. Not only am I an "okuko uku" (big chicken)when it comes to flying, but the thought of leaving my girls home alone with their Dad, who'd probably feed them nothing but (Papa John’s Pizza, McDonald’s happy meals, Captain Crunch cereal, Breyers ice cream)and a host of other junk... for four days, terrifies me-;)


Don said...

Thanks for this posting. I saw it via a Google alert and reposted to
(message #935)

Bennie said...


Thanks. I tried to leave you a comment on your blog, but I couldn't figure out where or how.
I posted this on another site called nigeriavillagesquare-the general consensus...many think it has something to do with africom.
What do you think?

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