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    World Language Credits for 8th Grade Dual Language Immersion Continuation Students

    1/18/2019 Letter to DLI Middle School Students about STAMP Testing Spring 2019 

    The Seattle Schools International Education Program currently sponsors 8th grade Dual Language Immersion Continuation Students to take the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) test to earn Competency-Based Credits for their language (Japanese or Spanish or Mandarin).

    Testing Opportunities

    Testing is arranged at Hamilton International Middle School, Denny International Middle School, and Mercer International Middle School. Contact your teachers to make arrangements. Spring 2018 testing is currently taking place at all three schools. Families will receive the test results and letters as soon as they are ready. 

    Awarding Credits

    Credit will be granted if students meet the following levels of proficiency across the four skills tested on the STAMP (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking):

    • Novice Mid earns 1 credit
    • Novice High earns 2 credits
    • Intermediate Low earns 3 credits
    • Intermediate Mid earns 4 credits

    Credit will appear on the high school transcript with a "P" for pass as the grade mark.

    Placement in High School

    In terms of placement into high school language courses, the recommended placement would be:

    • If student earns 1 Competency-Based Credit > place into Level 2 at high school
    • If student earns 2 Competency-Based Credits > place into Level 3 at high school
    • If student earns 3 Competency-Based Credits > place into Level 4 (or possibly AP) at high school
    • If student earns 4 Competency-Based Credits > place into Level 4, Level 5 or AP at high school
    Specific placement decisions are up to the school based on conversations with the language teachers, student, and family. Students will need to specifically request to have the credits added to their high school transcript. We will provide more information to you about that when you receive the STAMP results in the spring.

    Questions and Answers

    Q: How can a student best prepare for the STAMP test?

    A: The STAMP is a computer-adaptive assessment of proficiency. It is based on general expectations of what a person should be able to read, understand, or talk about at various proficiency levels (from Novice to Intermediate to Advanced). Therefore, it is not oriented to any particular program or curriculum. For Dual Language Immersion students, the challenge sometimes is that they have learned more specialized language in the content areas they’ve studied (such as Math, Science, Social Studies) and may not be as familiar with general language topics, such as sports, theater, leisure activities, travel, etc.

    While there is no particular "test prep" course to take, it is a good idea for students to do the following:

    1. Review the Test Taker Guide for STAMP:
    2. Take the Practice Test so they are familiar with the technology and "feel" of the STAMP:
    3. Review the STAMP Benchmarks and Rubrics:

    This shows the typical topics covered in the STAMP at the various levels. If you see topics that you are not familiar with at all (for example, Occupations/Professions or Health), it might be worth reviewing some materials on those topics in the immersion language just to gain greater familiarity with the terminology (although STAMP is NOT a vocabulary test).

    Q: Which 8th grade Dual Language Immersion students should take the STAMP for Competency-Based Credits?

    A: The district encourages all 8th grade Dual Language Immersion students to take the STAMP. We arrange testing dates at Hamilton International Middle School, Mercer International Middle School, and Denny International Middle School.

    Q: Is it a problem on the high school transcript to have Competency-Based Credits and a "P" grade?

    A: Probably not. The Washington Student Achievement Council has made it explicit that Competency-Based Credits for World Languages are accepted for college admissions in the state’s 4-year colleges. However, it would be wise for the student to take and earn seat-time credits (and grades) for a higher level language class than the ones they earned Competency-Based Credits for. For example, if the student earned 2 Competency-Based Credits for Japanese, then the student should take at least Japanese 3 (for a grade) in high school. The hope is that Dual Language Immersion students will continue their language study in high school to reach the Advanced level in that language before starting college.

    Q: If students demonstrate proficiency higher than Intermediate Mid, can they earn more credits?

    A: No. The procedure for Competency-Based Credits allows students to earn at most 4 Competency-Based Credits in one language. (However, they can earn credits in multiple languages.)

    Q: What if a Dual Language Immersion Continuation student does not earn even 1 credit through Competency-Based Credits?

    A: If a Dual Language Immersion Continuation student does not succeed in demonstrating proficiency through the STAMP, there may be a variety of factors to look at. Did the student actually complete all sections of the STAMP and produce ratable samples for the Speaking component? If not, it might be possible for the student to retake the STAMP later in the spring. To date, we have not had any student qualify for 0 credits in 8th grade.

    Q: Can an 8th grade Dual Language Immersion student retake the STAMP later?

    A: Yes. Any student can retake the STAMP test (or any of the other World Language Credit testing assessment options) by registering for another date when the test is offered. However, the district will only sponsor the test once, so the student who is retaking the test would need to pay the registration fee.

    Q: Can only 8th grade Dual Language Immersion students register for STAMP? 

    A: No. Any students 7th grade or higher may register for STAMP, but they will need to pay the registration fee to WAFLT themselves. And the district does not consider Competency-Based Credits until students are in 8th grade.