World Language Credit Options
Students are required to graduate with two credits in a World Language. Students have two options if they wish to pursue an alternative to the required two World Language credits:
- A student may elect to pursue credit in areas other than world language if the choice is based on a career-oriented course of study identified in the student’s High School and Beyond Plan.
- Students also have the option of pursuing competency/proficiency credit by participating in a World Language Assessment Day.
A student may elect to pursue credit in areas other than World Language if the choice is based on a career-oriented course of study identified in the student's High School and Beyond Plan. They will still need to earn both credits, in alternate courses.
To use this option, the student's parent/guardian must agree that credit in another area is more appropriate than World Language because it better serves the student's career goals. A meeting must be held with the student, the parent/guardian or designee, and a high school representative to discuss and sign a form (Request for Alternatives to World Language Courses). The form acknowledges they understand the World Language requirement is a college-entrance requirement and that they believe the other course selections are more appropriate, given the student's education and career goals.
In our diverse community, students have various opportunities to develop language skills. These skills may be gained through using the language at home, attending language programs offered in the community, learning online, or time spent living abroad. Students may seek credit in world language based on the learning opportunities available to them.
Students who wish to pursue competency/proficiency credit must sign up to participate in a district-sponsored World Language Assessment Day. Through this program, students complete an assessment to determine language proficiency. Several assessment days are scheduled each year. The first attempt is free. If students demonstrate at least a Novice Mid proficiency level, they receive a letter indicating proficiency levels and the number of high school credits earned. The district will award one or more credits based on the student demonstrating an overall proficiency level according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines, as follows:
Novice Mid - 1 credit
Novice High - 2 credits
Intermediate Low - 3 credits
Intermediate Mid - 4 credits
The maximum number of credits that may be awarded for this option is four. If a student earns four credits in the same language through competency testing and meets all other graduation requirements, they are eligible to receive the Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation. Since 2015, over 650 Lake Washington School District students have received credit in over 50 languages. Over 400 of these students have also earned the Seal of Biliteracy. Watch a video from the OSPI World Language Credit webpage to learn about the Seal of Biliteracy.
Additional questions about World Language Competency testing may be answered in our Frequently Asked Questions page.
World Language competency credit assessment
The Lake Washington School District will offer four testing opportunities for 9th-12th grade students in 2019-20.
How does it work?
Step 1: Register
Registration and testing has closed for 2018-19. Test dates/locations and registration for the 2019-20 school year will be posted here in September, 2019.
In order to earn credit, students must be able to read, write, speak AND understand the language they are testing in.
Step 2: Prepare for the test
After you sign up for the test, go to the test company's website to review the format of the assessment. In addition, you may wish to review these study tips and take this self-assessment to help you prepare.
- Language: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese - traditional, Chinese - simplified, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, Korean, Polish
- Language: Filipino, Somali MaayMaay, Somali Maxaa, Vietnamese, Yup'ik, Armenian, Ilocano, Haitian-Creole, Tamil
- ALTA Language Services
- Additional Languages
Step 3: Take the test
- For the STAMP, World Speak and custom tests: bring your photo ID, fully charged laptop and laptop charger.
- For the ALTA test: bring your photo ID and a black pen.
*We will schedule the speaking test, which is a phone interview, for a later date at your home school, during the school day. This portion of the test will take a half hour and your absence from class will be excused.
Step 4: Get the results
In four to six weeks you will receive a letter from the district informing you of your scores and how much credit you earned, as well as official score reports from the testing company. The credits you earned will be available in Skyward under the "Test Scores" tab. Scores and credits will also be shared with your counselor and the registrar at your school. They will add this information to your transcript.