World Language & Seal of Biliteracy

TPS is committed to ensuring that students who speak, write, read, and listen/comprehend one or more world languages earn the credits and recognition they deserve for their language proficiency.

The World Language Competency-Based Assessment allows students to demonstrate proficiency of reading, writing, listening and speaking in any language, even if they are not offered at our schools. High school students may request a test at no cost.

Determine if you are eligible to test - If you can answer yes to all of the below "I can" statements, contact your school World Language Assessment Liaison (WLAL) and provide a short writing sample (unless testing for ASL.) Ask your counselor, ELL teacher, or world language teacher if unsure who that is. 

World Language and Bilingual Students

  • 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]

American Sign Language Students

  • I can respond to simple, direct questions or requests for information by demonstrating limited communicative exchanges with short phrases on memorized topics limited to everyday survival needs; e.g., work, school, pets, and hobbies. Comprehension requires considerable repetition and/or rephrasing, and slow simplified communication with extra linguistic support.
  • I can manage a number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straight forward, practical situations using concrete exchanges and predictable topics. Comprehension requires frequent repetition. Misunderstandings may still occur.
  • I can express personal meaning by combining and re-combining what I know and what I receive from the interviewer. I can create short statements and discrete sentences. I can generally be understood by the interviewer who is accustomed to dealing with non-native language users. Comprehension limitations are evident due to the need for frequent repetition or rephrasing of questions on both familiar and unfamiliar topics.

*If you have taken 2 or more years of an AP/IB world language course, take the AP/IB exam in that language to demonstrate your proficiency.

The Washington State Seal of Biliteracy recognizes public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English. 

Students qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy by:

  • Earning 4 credits in ELA coursework
  • Meeting all graduation requirements, including proficiency in approved ELA State assessments
  • Demonstrating proficiency in another language through one of these options:
    • 4 credits in an approved competency test
    • AP score of 3 or higher
    • IB SL or HL score of 4 or higher

Students who have earned the Seal of Biliteracy receive a medallion their senior year to wear for graduation and a gold Seal is placed on their diploma.

For more information, contact languagetesting@Tacoma.K12.Wa.US

Family Resources:

Examples of Tests:​​​​​​

  • STAMP - Standards-Based Measure of Proficiency
  • AAPPL - ACTFL Assessment of Performance Toward Proficiency in Languages (Language Testing International)
  • ASLPI - American Sign Language Proficiency Interview for American Sign Language (ASL) (Gallaudet University)
  • WAFLT -Washington Association for Language Teaching
  • WorldSpeak - writing and speaking in less common languages (Avant)