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 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:
• Review the Test Taker Guide for STAMP.
• Take the Practice Test so they are familiar with the technology and “feel” of the STAMP (note that the Practice Test does not include the Listening component).
• 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).
A: The district encourages all 9th-12th grade immersion students to sign up to take the STAMP. During Washington World Language Assessment Days, students have as much time as they need to complete the test and they’ll complete all four sections on one day. They will be with other students who are also highly motivated to do well on the test so they will earn as many credits as possible. In addition, students who participate in Washington World Language Assessment Days will receive a certificate of recognition and letter from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education that they can include with their college applications.
A: Probably not. The Higher Education Coordinating Board 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 immersion students will continue their language study in high school to reach the Advanced level in that language before starting college.
A: If an immersion student does not succeed in demonstrating proficiency through the STAMP, there may be a variety of factors to look at. First, did the student actually complete all sections of the STAMP and produce measurable samples for the Speaking component? (If not, it might be possible for the student to retake the STAMP later this spring.) Second, if the student is simply not able to demonstrate the levels of proficiency required in all skill areas, the student may still be able to receive seat-time credit for the language courses completed in school.
A: Yes. A student can retake the STAMP test 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.