World Language Credit Program (Competency Credits)
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.
- World Language Competency Test Registration & Agreement (Google Doc)
- World Language Competency Test Flyer (PDF)
- OSPI: Competency Credits for Students
The nationally normed proficiency tests are used by businesses, government and the military for salary and job placement. They are most appropriate for older adolescents. Our current testing infrastructure is designed to test high school students, so middle school students are asked to wait until the fall of 9th grade to test.
Director of Educational Technology and Assessment
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.
I can understand the main idea and some details in simple texts that contain familiar vocabulary.
I can exchange information with another person about familiar tasks, topics and activities.
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to provide basic information about familiar topics.
I can write simple descriptions and short messages and request or provide information on familiar topics.
Step 2: Register for a Testing Date
Check with your guidance counselor to register for the test.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I study?
The test is based on language proficiency. “what individuals can do with language in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading in real-world situations in a spontaneous and non-rehearsed context” – See more at: ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012.
Although it is not possible to study for a language proficiency test in a traditional sense, you can practice the four skills and ask for feedback from educated native speakers in your community.
- Reading: understanding current events websites and children’s stories
- Writing: writing email, short informational articles and anecdotes about what you did in the past
- Speaking: talking about your life as well as current events
- Listening: podcasts or radio
Do colleges recognize the competency credits?
Most Washington Universities also accept these credits for entrance requirements. Be sure to check with the universities of interest to your student as soon as possible. More and more universities are also moving to proficiency-based testing for placement and testing.