World Language Competency Credits for Students
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  World Languages:

  Paris Granville, Supervisor
  World Language Programs


World Languages

World Language Competency Credits for Students

Many school districts in Washington now recognize the value of preparing students to be global citizens with the skills to communicate in English and other world languages. The World Language Credit Program is a way to earn high school credit for a language you already know.

Translated videos in Amharic, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, Samoan, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrigna, Vietnamese.

How does it work?

Step 1: Determine if you’re eligible

Take a moment to think about your current language skills in the language that you wish to be tested in (not English). If you can answer “Yes, I can do this fairly easily” to each statement, then you will probably be able to earn at least 1-2 credits when you take the language test. If you can answer “Yes, I can do this very easily” to all of the statements, then you may be able to earn 3-4 credits when you get tested.

  • I can understand ideas on familiar topics expressed through phrases, short sentences, and frequently used expressions. [Listening]
  • I can understand the main idea and some details in simple texts that contain familiar vocabulary. [Reading]
  • I can exchange information with another person about familiar tasks, topics and activities. [Person-to-Person Communication]
  • I can use a series of phrases and sentences to provide basic information about familiar topics. [Spoken Production]
  • I can write simple descriptions and short messages and request or provide information on familiar topics. [Writing]

Step 2: Take the tests

Different languages use different tests. Find your language, then you’ll see which test(s) you need to sign up for.

Select your Language

Learn more about the tests:

Note that some languages have multiple test options. For example, you can take Mandarin STAMP all online or choose the ACTFL WPT and OPIc if you prefer to do a handwritten test.

If your school district is listed below, please click on the appropriate link to register:
Bellevue | Edmonds | Everett | Federal Way | Highline | Kent | Seattle

If you do not see your school district listed, please contact your school counselor.

Step 3: Get credit

After you complete the test(s) for your language, OSPI will receive your test results and send a letter indicating proficiency levels attained in the tested language and suggested high school credit(s).

Talk to your school counselors to arrange to add the credits to your high school transcript. (If they have questions about how about to do that, tell them to see World Language Credit Transcripts.)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many high school credits can I earn by testing?
It is possible for you to earn up to four Competency-Based Credits in a world language based on the overall proficiency level you demonstrate on the test(s) used for your language:

  • Novice Mid - 1 credit
  • Novice High - 2 credits
  • Intermediate Low - 3 credits
  • Intermediate Mid - 4 credits

To learn more about proficiency levels, review the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012.

2. If I am not satisfied with my results, can I retest? If so, how soon?
Yes, you can retest. However, if your district sponsored your testing the first time, they may expect you and your family to pay for the retest. Deciding how soon to retest depends on your situation and when the next test dates are available. Usually it's best to wait at least a few months before retesting. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at OSPI.

3. What is the best way to prepare for these tests?
All of the tests we use are based on demonstrating proficiency: what you can do with the language (not what you know about the language, such as grammar facts or vocabulary definitions). You'll be asked to speak and write about different topics to see whether your proficiency level is more at the Novice level (words and phrases and a few memorized sentences) or Intermediate level (sentences and series of sentences) or Advanced level (paragraphs with connector words). You can find examples in English and some other languages in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012.

If you are taking online tests, be sure to try out the Demo/Practice tests in advance so you are familiar with the format. See: STAMP Demo Test or ACTFL OPIc Demo (leave user name and password blank).


World Languages - students

World Language Credit Brochures (PDF):

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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