Automatic CEFR and TOEIC scoring for spoken languages

The Speechace API has long supported IELTS and PTE speaking score estimates in its output. However many of our users regularly convert Speechace API scores in to their CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and TOEIC equivalents. To support the need for such conversions, we have recently added algorithms that directly provide CEFR and TOEIC speaking score estimates in the Speechace API response.

CEFR Scores in Speechace API

CEFR is an international standard for describing language ability. It describes language ability on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language.

The Speechace spontaneous speech API now accepts an arbitrary speech sample and and returns a CEFR estimate based on the quality of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, fluency, coherence and relevance in the sample.

Consider the below spoken response, wherein an intermediate English speaker is responding to the prompt: Why do you want to go to college?

In this case, the Speechace API will provide the following CEFR grading to the learner:

Now, consider the below spoken response wherein a native English speaker is answering the prompt: Why do you want to go to college?

Once processed via the Speechace API, the speaker will receive the below CEFR scores via the Speechace API:

TOEIC Scores in Speechace API

TOEIC is one of the leading English exams by ETS and is in use by over by 14,000+ organizations in more than 160 countries. The exam is particularly popular in Japan. In the TOEIC exam, the speaking section is rated on a scale of 0-200 and its CEFR equivalence is mapped as follows:

Similar to CEFR scores, the Speechace spontaneous speech API is now able to take an arbitrary speech sample from a TEOIC exam attempt and provide a TOEIC speaking score estimate.

Consider the below intermediate English speaker’s response to a free form TOEIC exam prompt: Who do you admire most in your personal life and why?

For such a response, the Speechace API will return intermediate scores on the TOEIC scale as below:

On the other hand, consider the audio response from an expert native English speaker for the same prompt: Who do you admire most in your personal life and why?

For this response, the Speechace API will return high scores on the TOEIC scale as below:

Parting thoughts

At Speechace we remain committed to developing the best spoken language assessment API for language learning providers. As of this writing, our speech recognition algorithms provide estimates for major spoken language assessment rubrics including the IELTS, PTE, TOEIC and CEFR. While we have primarily targeted the most in use rubrics but we are also open to tuning our algorithms for scoring custom rubrics. Therefore, if you are a language learning provider and are looking to provide automatic spoken language scores based on your own custom rubric then please reach out and we will be happy to assist you.

If you wish to learn more or have any questions please reach us at We look forward to hearing from you.

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