Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

World Language Credit by Proficiency

In addition to American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic, Chinese, French, Somali and Spanish high school courses, Highline also offers World Language Credit by Proficiency for any language.

High school students can earn up to a maximum of 4 credits through this program. Students are assessed in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

Highline is part of a statewide initiative to recognize our students' diverse language competencies. For more information on this initiative, please refer to OSPI ​Competency-Based Credits for World Languages. Watch the video below to learn more about this program.




Credit by Proficiency testing happens yearly at each of our high schools and pre-registration is required. 



October 1-25, 2019


New Start

Learning Center North


Career Link


Oct. 28 – Nov. 20, 2019


Nov. 25 – Dec. 20, 2019




Learning Center South

Jan. 6 – Feb. 7, 2020


Feb. 3 – 28, 2020


New Start

Learning Center North


Career Link


Raisbeck Aviation

Mar. 2 – 27, 2020

Mount Rainier

Apr. 1 – 30, 2020

Learning Center South

Big Picture

Heritage Classes

Cascade DL

Late April 2020

Last Call for Seniors

Late May 2020

Middle Schools


Steps prior to taking the language proficiency test

Step 1: Advisory lessons to include overview of World Language Credit by Proficiency, self-assessment, paths to Biliteracy
Step 2:  Test preparation and practice test 
Step 3:  Testing day! 

Test Information

Highline Public Schools uses different tests in order to accommodate all languages. The three most common tests used are ALTA, Avant WorldSpeak and STAMP 4s.  

Stamp 4s Information: (French, German, Italian, Spanish)

 WorldSpeak Information: (Samoan, Somali, and Tagalog)

ALTA Test Information: (Any language not listed above)

Credit by Proficiency FAQs

Who can earn World Language Credit-by-Proficiency?

Any high school student with strong skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a language other than English can earn credit. Students using American Sign Language may also earn credit. Students need to complete a self-assessment of their skills before testing.

Can I take the test if I’m not a native speaker?


Can I take the test if am an ELL student?

Yes. ELL students are encouraged to take the test. However, we strongly recommend students take the test when they are at an intermediate or advanced level of English language skill - this is because the test instructions will all be in English, making the test challenging for a beginning ELL student.

What languages can I earn credit in?

Any language that has written and spoken forms, as well as American Sign Language.

How many credits can I earn?

Students can earn 1-4 credits.

Can I earn credit in more than one language?

No. Budget constraints limit testing to one language.

How much does testing cost?

The first language test comes at no cost to the student. If a student chooses to retest the following academic year, there will be a fee based on the cost of the assessment.

What happens if I don’t do well on the test?

There is no negative posting on transcripts or other records. 

Can I test more than once?

Students can opt to retest, at their own cost, in the following academic year.

How do I register for the test?

To register, students will attend an information session, complete a self-assessment and take a practice test. This will happen across the high school campuses, and be advertised at the school.

When can I test?

The process will be offered at each high school site once each academic year. If testing has completed at a school, you will need to wait until the next year. See registration page for schedule for the current school year.

How do I decide if I should take the test?

During or after the information sessions, you will complete a self-assessment that will help you identify your proficiency level. If your level is high enough, and you want to earn the credit, you are encouraged to take the test. 

What is the test like?

The test varies depending on language. Some tests are completed on the computer. Others are partially completed on the computer, and have written component. Some are all paper/pencil. All the tests also include a speaking and/or listening component, as well as reading and writing assessments. For French, German, Italian and Spanish you can take a practice assessment online. For Samoan, Somali and Tagalog, there is a practice assessment here. For other languages, you will learn about the assessment during the information session. 

Where does testing happen?

In most cases, testing will happen at the student’s home school.

How can I get help to develop my language skills?

You can practice your skills by reading things you enjoy in the languages you are learning, as well as finding opportunities to write – letters, email, blogging, etc…. You can also practice your speaking skills with friends and families that speak the language. In some cases, you may be able to find opportunities in the community to study the language.  Highline has an on-line Canvas course which is ideal for strengthening your language skills.  Check with the test coordinator at your home school for more information.

How can I continue learning languages?

Talk to your counselor about options in your school that would work for your schedule. 

What if I already took classes in and earned credit in the language I am testing in?

Additional credit for proficiency earned at the high school level will only be awarded for levels above the credit already earned. If you have earned credit for content based language courses, for example - Spanish for Native Speakers, any credits earned via this program will be in addition to credits you have earned.

What happens if I am currently in a language class and I take the test in the same language?

Students are expected to successfully complete, and earn credit in, any language class they are in - credit by proficiency will not be granted for classes they are currently enrolled in.

What happens if I am in a Spanish-for-Native Speakers course?

Spanish-for-Native Speakers is a different type of language class than other World Language classes; a full range of proficiency credits can be earned in addition to credits earned through Spanish-for-Native Speakers course.

What kind of credit will this generate?

World Language credits will be generated, with unique course names that indicate the language, level, and that it was earned through proficiency.

When will credits be posted to my transcript?

Processing test results can take 8-12 weeks.

Will this affect my GPA?

No. Because proficiency credit does not have a “grade,” it is GPA-neutral.

Will earning language credits via the Credit by Proficiency Program be considered on my college applications?

Having language proficiency credits on your high school transcript is a valuable addition to any college application.

Not only do proficiency credits attest to a level of proficiency in a world language, but these credits can be used toward meeting the world language admission requirement for many colleges and universities.  Furthermore, these credits can be used to fulfill the world language high school graduation requirement.