World Language Competency

Can you read, write, speak and listen fluently in a world language in addition to English?

  • If you answered yes, then you can earn high school credit by successfully passing a world language competency test in your chosen language.

When will the test be offered in the 2019-20 school year?

  • Friday, December 6, 2019
  • Friday, March 13, 2020
    • Note: Students typically test for 1.5-3 hours.  Their absence from class is excused, though they should follow up with their teachers to see if any work needs to be made up and ensure they know if homework has been assigned.

What are the potential benefits of taking this test?

  • You can earn up to 4 high school credits (see additional credit information below)
  • You can fulfill your high school world language requirement
  • You may qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy on your high school diploma and transcripts
  • You may meet the world language requirements for college admission
    • Check with colleges you are looking at to make sure you are meeting all admissions requirements
    • Some colleges may still want to see that you have taken actual world language classes at school

How many credits can you earn by demonstrating proficiency?

  • You can earn up to 4 credits .  The rating scales for earning credits is as follows:
    • Intermediate High and above: 4 credits
    • Intermediate Low: 3 credits
    • Novice high: 2 credits
    • Novice mid: 1 credit
    • Below novice mid: 0 credits

How are credits awarded?

  • Credits are awarded based on the lowest-scored skill level tested.  It is important that you have strong abilities in all areas of your chosen language (speaking, listening, writing, and reading). 

What should I do if I am interested in taking the test?

  • Talk with your counselor and let them know you are interested.  Discuss if it would make sense for you to take the test. If you decide to participate, your counselor will sign you up and you will receive information from an administrator about the date, time, and location of the test.

What does the test look like?

  • There are two testing options depending on the language:
    • Avant Stamp 4S - This test is online and a headset (with a microphone) is provided for listening to prompts and recording responses.  Students complete the reading before the writing section, and the listening before the speaking section.  If students are uncomfortable typing their responses in the language for the writing section, they can request to handwrite their responses when the test is ordered.  You can see practice tests online here.
      • Languages offered: Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified and Traditional), Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish (new languages are added all the time)
    • ALTA - This test includes a phone call with a native speaker to assess speaking and listening, as well as printed prompts for reading and writing (which is handwritten).
      • Languages offered: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic (MSA and dialects), Armenian, Azerbajani (Azeri), Bambara, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Chuukese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Estonian, Fante (Akan), Farsi, Finnish, French, French (Canadian), Fulani, Ga, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Ibo, Ilocano, Indonesian, Italian, Jamaican Patois, Japanese, Kazakh, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Kurdish Kurmanji, Kurdish Sorani, Laotian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Malayalam, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Oromo, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Punjabi (Eastern), Punjabi (Western), Romanian, Russian, Samoan (IVR only), Serbian, Serbo-Croatian, Sinhala, Slovak, Somali, Sorani, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Taiwanese, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Turkish, Turkmen, Twi (Akan), Ukranian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Wolof, Yoruba (new languages are added all the time)

What is the cost of the test?

  • Test costs range from $20-$120.  The Avant Stamp 4S is $20 ($5 more for handwriting responses) and the ALTA is $120.  If a language is available through both tests, students will be asked which format they prefer.  Students pay to participate, though financial assistance is available.  See the Financial Assistance page for information.

Can I re-take the test if I don’t do well enough the first time?

  • Yes, you may re-take the test, but you will have to register and pay again.  It is better to make sure you have the proficiency level needed beforehand. 

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

  • If you score at the intermediate high level or above, you can have the Seal of Biliteracy added to your high school diploma.


If you have additional questions, speak with your counselor.