World Language Competency Credits
Students enrolled in Renton School District in grades 8 to 12 may take proficiency exams in languages other than English to earn high school credits.
Washington State encourages districts to explore competency-based credit for world languages in order to better prepare students for college and future careers (WAC 180-51-050). Providing students the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency recognizes the value of bilingualism and promotes students’ pride in their proficiency in another language. It can also provide students the opportunity to earn high school credits necessary for graduation and/or college eligibility.
Students that have a good level of proficiency (i.e., can read, write and communicate) in a language other than English may receive high school credit by demonstrating their language skills on an externally graded assessment. In order to earn world language credits students who speak a language other than English fluently need to demonstrate that they can also read and write in the language at the Novice level or above.
Renton School District suggests students take a moment to think about their current language skills in the language that you wish to be tested. If s/he can answer “Yes, I can do this fairly easily” to each of the statements below, then s/he will probably be able to earn at least 1-2 credits after taking the language test. If s/he can answer “Yes, I can do this very easily” to all of the statements, then they may be able to earn 3-4 credits.
- I can understand ideas on familiar topics expressed through phrases, short sentences, and frequently used expressions when listening to a conversation. [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 (e.g., school, vacations, weather). [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]
Renton students take their world language proficiency test in a proctored environment at their own middle or high school on specific dates in October / November (high schools only) and April. Students also have the opportunity to take world language proficiency assessments at other schools in the state (e.g., Kent and Seattle).
How Much Does it Cost
Renton School District pays the fees associated with students’ language proficiency assessment when they take it for the first time. If students elect to retake the assessment, a fee may be required to cover administrative costs, test fees, and/or proctoring (RSD Policy and Procedure 2409 and 2409P). Test fees range from $30 to $145 depending on the language; most are at the lower price point.
The District can provide financial assistance to students who demonstrate need, such as qualifying for free or reduced price lunch.
How to Register
To take the test in the Renton School District, students register at their own middle or high school. To take a test on a date not offered in Renton or at another location, students should contact the Assessment Office at KEC and the district will arrange payment. Otherwise, students may sign up on their own at other sites.
The District will receive official test results for each student participating in the assessment process. The District sends student letters to a student’s school with a copy of the test results and an indication of how many world language credits, if any, may be awarded. High school counselors and registrars also receive the results so that the student may request credit as needed.
For more information please contact your school counseling office.