PWCS World Languages Pilot Testing in Dari or Pashto

Current PWCS Grade 12 students are being offered the opportunity to meet the world language requirement toward earning the Virginia Seal of Biliteracy by demonstrating their proficiency level in Dari or Pashto on an approved external assessment. Additionally, eligible students (who will not be meeting the world language diploma requirement through coursework) may also earn up to three high school world language credits.

There is no cost to participate if selected for this spring 2024 pilot testing. The test will consist of a typed written response and a spoken interview by phone.

Tests will be held at a centrally-located PWCS high school on one of three evenings in either late April or early May. Students/parents will need to provide their own transportation.

Students should submit their interest no later than April 5, 2024. (The form can be completed by a PWCS staff member on behalf of a student.) You must be logged in to a PWCS Office 365 account to access the form.

Selected students will be notified via their PWCS email of their specific assigned testing location, date, and time.

World Language Credit-by-Assessment

Students: Earn World Language course credits for a language that you already speak!

Eligible PWCS students may earn up to three high school world language credits by demonstrating their proficiency level in one of 41 languages other than English on an approved external assessment. There is no cost to participate if selected for first-attempt testing. Additional attempts will be made at the expense of the student’s family.

Eligible students must:

  • Be a PWCS student in grades 7-12
  • Have not already met (or not be on track to meet this year) the world language credit requirement for the Advanced Studies Diploma.
    • i.e., Student has not already successfully completed three world language courses in the same language (or two years each of two different languages) and/or is not currently enrolled in a third (or fourth) year of world language.
  • Must be able to read, write, speak, and understand a language other than English sufficiently to demonstrate Novice High proficiency level or above. Example skills at this proficiency level include:
    • Expressing, asking about, and reacting to preferences, feelings, or opinions on familiar topics in speaking and writing
    • Communicating basic personal information about their life and activities in speaking and writing
    • Asking and responding to simple questions on topics related to everyday life in speaking and writing
    • Identifying main ideas and a few supporting details in spoken or written text

Before applying, students should review the sample skills listed above and take the Avant STAMP 4S, 3S, or WS Sample Test for their chosen language to confirm that they have the minimum language skills to earn at least one credit. At this time, the only available languages are the languages on the Avant testing website that offer a sample test.

We are actively looking at options to expand available languages. We plan to communicate again if/when we are able to make additional languages available to students.

However, unless an available world language to be tested is offered in a student’s designated middle or high school, it is advised that students have sufficient skills to earn a minimum of two credits before taking the world language assessment due to the Virginia Department of Education credit-related diploma requirements.

Credit awarded (and the following year’s recommended placement for World Languages taught at a student’s assigned school) will be based on a student’s demonstrated proficiency on the relevant external assessment and will be as follows:

Table explaining proficiency levels required to earn credits. Novice High will earn 1 credit, Intermediate Low will earn 2 credits, Intermediate mid or higher will earn 3 credits
Proficiency Level Credit(s) Awarded Next Placement Next Spanish for Fluent Speakers Placement
Novice High 1.0 Level II SFS I
Intermediate Low 2.0 Level III SFS II
Intermediate Mid 3.0 Level IV SFS III
Intermediate High and Above 3.0 AP or Equivalent AP or Equivalent

Successful attempts will be documented by a letter “P”, indicating “pass”, for each credited course awarded on their transcript. No letter grade will be used/substituted for a successfully earned credit, nor will “P” be converted for purposes of grade point average (GPA) calculation.

While a student’s performance on this assessment does inform their next recommended placement (for languages/levels that are available at the student’s next projected school) it does not impact in any fashion their current course schedule. Students' schedules will not be changed, i.e., they will not be removed from a world language course they are currently taking for any reason related to this assessment. They will be expected to continue and successfully complete any such course, regardless of the outcome of the assessment.


Apply Online

The application for December 2023 testing will open on September 15, 2023, and the deadline is October 15, 2023.

The first priority in the selection of students will be given to students in upper grades needing world language credits to earn an Advanced Studies diploma, especially seniors. Should the total number of students exceed the maximum number of students who can be assessed, selection will then be based on the application's stamped date and time.

Testing Accommodations

All students with disabilities and those identified as English learners are assessed with appropriate accommodations following state and federal guidelines.

The pursuit of credit-by-assessment by students with disabilities will be prescribed by the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.

Have Questions or Need Additional Information?

Betsy Campagna, Supervisor of World Languages
[email protected]