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.
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]
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:
Once you know which test(s) you need to take, then find a date and location that will work for you.
- If your language is not listed, then type it in under Select one language for assessment "Other."
- If you don’t see a date or location for the test(s) for your language, then just register for “Date to be determined.”
Students in the Road Map districts of Auburn, Kent, or Tukwila:
After you complete the test(s) for your language, OSPI will receive your test results within a few weeks. We will create a certificate of recognition signed by OSPI and the State Board of Education, with a cover letter indicating proficiency levels attained in the tested language and high school credit equivalencies based on the recommendations in the state’s Model Procedure for competency-based credits. Usually, we send the student packet with the certificate to your school counselor so you can receive it at school.
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.)
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).