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
- Competency Credit for Students (OSPI)
- World Languages (OSPI)
- Competency Testing (OSPI)
- WA State Seal of Biliteracy (OSPI)
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)