World Language Competency Testing

  • Bainbridge Island School District World Language Proficiency Exam

    • Do you speak a language other than English in your home?

    • Can you speak, read, and write in a language that is not offered at Bainbridge High School?

    If you answered YES to one or both questions above, you may be eligible to earn high school World Language credit by taking a language proficiency exam.

    Student Eligibility

    The world language proficiency exams are most appropriate for older adolescents, as they are also used by businesses, government and the military for job placement. Our current world language proficiency testing model is designed for high school students to earn high school credit, so we ask middle school students to wait until the end of 8th grade or fall of 9th grade to take the proficiency exam.  

    Spring 2023 Exam Dates - check back here for the signup link in late February.

    Exam date

    Signup deadline

    Monday, March 27th

    Monday, March 6th

    Monday, May 1st

    Monday, April 10th

    Please read important information below about the process for “Awarding of Credit” BEFORE you sign up for the exam. Note that students CAN NOT earn duplicate credit.

    Awarding of Credit

    • All approved Competency-based World Language Credits will be posted to the Bainbridge Island School District transcript as credit earned without letter grades.

    • The approved Competency-based World Language Credits cannot replace an unsatisfactory (D/F) grade posted on the BISD transcript for an equivalent course. It will be posted in a separate area of the BISD transcript.

    • Students cannot have duplicate credits for classes already taken.

    • After students have received Competency-based World Language Credits for a certain level of a language, they may not take an equivalent or a lower level class in that same language. They must take a higher level of the same language OR another language.

    • Students may use approved Competency-based World Language Credits for placement purposes in higher level World Language courses.

    • Competency-based World Language Credits may be used to meet World Language graduation requirements.

    • Students who receive 4 credits will also qualify automatically for the Seal of Biliteracy.

    Wondering how many high school credits you might be able to earn?

    Can you do the following in a language other than English?

    • understand ideas on familiar topics expressed through phrases, short sentences, and frequently used expressions. [Listening]

    • understand the main idea and some details in simple texts that contain familiar vocabulary. [Reading]

    • exchange information with another person about familiar tasks, topics and activities. [Person-to-Person Communication]

    • use a series of phrases and sentences to provide basic information about familiar topics.    [Spoken Production]

    • write simple descriptions and short messages / request or provide information on familiar topics. [Writing]

     If you can answer all of the statements above with:

    Yes, I can do this fairly easily in a language other than English 

    → Then you will probably earn at least 1-2 high school credits by taking the proficiency exam

    Yes, I can do this very easily in a language other than English,

    → Then you will probably earn at least 3-4 high school credits by taking the proficiency exam



    Note about the calculation of credits:

    Awarded credits are calculated based on the highest proficiency level across the skills of reading, writing, and speaking. The student must demonstrate proficiency in all the skills to earn the credits. For the ALTA test the reading/writing are bundled together as is the speaking/listening. To meet these requirements, we use the lowest proficiency level to calculate the scores, not an average or sum.  See chart below.

    Lowest STAMP score

    Lowest ILR

    Lowest Proficiency Level




    Novice Low




    Novice Mid




    Novice High




    Intermediate Low




    Intermediate Mid



            1+ or higher

    Intermediate High or Higher



     See more at: ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (The American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages)