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World Language Proficiency Credits

COVID-19 and 2020-2021 World Language Proficiency Testing

The Edmonds School District is committed to keeping our students and staff safe while supporting our students as they navigate this new learning environment.  Over the past several years, we have annually provided World Language Proficiency testing to students in grades 8-12 who speak a language other than English with the opportunity to earn up to four high school credits by demonstrating proficiency in that language.  These tests are provided in a face-to-face group testing environment in our schools during the school day.  Unfortunately, during the current COVID-19 health crisis, this scale of testing in our schools and classrooms cannot be done safely, and there is no remote model for administering the World Language Proficiency Testing at this time.  Therefore, due to social distancing requirements, as well as limited resources and time, we will not be able to provide the large scale testing to students across grades 8-12 as we have done in the past.

We will, however, be providing on-site World Language Proficiency testing on a much smaller scale to eligible high school seniors during the second semester.  This will be provided to seniors even if we continue to operate within our current full-remote learning model.  If secondary students are able to return to school in winter and spring under the hybrid instructional model, we will expand this testing opportunity to include high school juniors as well.  

While we realize that some grade levels will not be able to test this year, students who are unable to test this year will have the opportunity to test during the next school year.  

We are currently working on logistical details for testing seniors next semester, and will provide that information on our website and to our high schools and as soon as it is ready.  We will also wait to see where we are in our school re-entry stages and process come second semester to determine whether or not juniors can also be included.    

We are all in this together, and we will get through it together.  Take care and stay safe.


Washington State Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy is available to graduating students that demonstrate proficiency in English and a World Language other than English. Students receiving the Seal of Biliteracy will be recognized at a board meeting, receive a certificate of recognition, and an honor cord to be worn at graduation. 

Proficiency in English is shown by:
- Earning 4 high school credits in English and Language Arts
- Passing the 10th grade ELA SBA or a state-recognized alternative

Proficiency in a World Language other than English is shown by:
- Earning a score of 3 or higher on a World Language AP test
- Earning a score of 4 or higher on a World Language IB test
- Earning 4 credits on a World Language Proficiency test

World Language Assessments Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Registration/Before Test Day

Q: Who can earn World Language Credit-by-Proficiency?

A: Any middle or high school student with strong skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a language other than English can earn credit. Students using American Sign Language may also earn credit. Students need to complete a self-assessment of their skills before testing.

Q: Can I take the test if I am an ELL student?

A: Yes. ELL students are encouraged to take the test. However, we strongly recommend students take the test when they are at an intermediate or advanced level of English language skill - this is because the test instructions will all be in English, making the test challenging for a beginning ELL student.

Q: What languages can I earn credit in?

A: Any language that has written and spoken forms, as well as American Sign Language.

Q: How many high school credits can I earn?

A: One – Four (1-4)
Q: Can I earn credit in more than one language?

A: Yes, though the school district will only pay for one assessment. Students may arrange to pay for additional assessments.
Q: How much does testing cost?

A: The first language test comes at no cost to the student. If a student chooses to retest the following academic year, there will be a fee based on the cost of the assessment.

Q: What happens if I don’t do well on the test?

A: There is no negative posting on transcripts or other records.  

Q: Can I test more than once?

A: Students can opt to retest, at their own cost, in the following academic year.
Q: How do I register for the test?

A: To register, students will complete a simple registration form. This will happen at the middle school and high school campuses and be advertised at the school.
Q: How do I decide if I should take the test?

A: If you feel that your language level is high enough to show proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, then you should test. Keep in mind that only the first test will be paid for by the district so if you are not sure you are ready, you might wait a year to solidify your skills.
Q: Where is there information about the laws and procedures that allow for World Language Credit-by-Proficiency in Washington?

A: Please visit the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's website.


Test Day

Q: What is the test like? 

A: The test varies depending on the language. Some tests are completed on the computer. Others are partially completed on the computer and have written component. Some are all paper/pencil. All the tests also include a speaking and/or listening component, as well as reading and writing assessments. 
Q: Where does testing happen? 

A: Testing will be offered at each middle school and high school. Students should attend the testing at their school.
Q: How can I get help to develop my language skills?
A: You can practice your skills by reading things you enjoy in the languages you are learning, as well as finding opportunities to write – letters, email, blogging, etc…. You can also practice your speaking skills with friends and families that speak the language. In some cases, you may be able to find opportunities in the community to study the language.
Q: How can I continue learning languages? 

A: Talk to your counselor about options in your school that would work for in your schedule. 

Q: What if I already took classes in and earned credit in the language I am testing in?
A: Additional credit for proficiency earned at the high school level will only be awarded for levels above the credit already earned. If you have earned credit for content-based language courses, for example - Spanish for Native Speakers, any credits earned via this program will be in addition to credits you have earned, up to a total of four credits.
Q: What if I am taking a French 2 class at school but test in Spanish and receive four credits?

A: You can earn credits for both languages. In this case, you would earn two credits of French (for French 1 and French 2) and then four credits for Spanish, for a total of six.


After Testing

Q: What kind of credit will this generate?

A: Elective credits will be generated, with unique course names that indicate the language, level, and that it was earned through proficiency.

Q: When will credits be posted to my transcript? 

A: Processing test results can take 8-12 weeks.

Q: Will this affect my GPA?

A: Because proficiency credit does not have a “grade,” it is GPA-neutral.
Q: Will earning language credits via World Language Proficiency Testing be considered on college applications?

A: Having your language proficiency noted on your high school transcript is a valuable addition to any college application. However, colleges and universities determine their own policies about accepting credits attained through one of these assessments for either entrance to the school or placement in language courses. Students should check with their desired college or university to learn more about their policies regarding these credits.


For more information, please contact Mark Madison, Director of Career and College Readiness and Career at Technical Education, (425) 431-7124. 
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