World Languages and CulturesKelly James, SupervisorAngelica Goetz, Specialist (Secondary)Luisa Quintero, Specialist (Elementary)
PH: (571) 252-1410FX: (571) 252-1802The World Languages and Cultures Division of the Department of Instruction affords students from elementary through high school the opportunity to study an array of world languages.Students who have studied and attained higher proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation will be eligible to receive the Seal of Biliteracy from the Commonwealth of Virginia. This award encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain, and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices.Beginning in SY23-24, we are excited to announce that the School Board has approved the implementation of Loudoun County Public Schools' first Dual Language Immersion Program. It will begin at two pre-designated elementary schools. Core content will be taught in Spanish and in English. More information can be found on this website under Elementary Dual Language Immersion.The secondary world language program begins in grade 7. Choices of languages include French, German, Latin, Spanish (as a second language), or Spanish for Fluent Speakers. Upon successful completion, each course will earn the student a standard high school credit. Throughout high school, students may continue their studies at the honors levels of these languages to the Advanced Placement Level or begin a three-year sequence of Mandarin Chinese or a four-year sequence of American Sign Language.Through these programs, the LCPS World Languages and Cultures Office provides language skills and preparation for students to have a broad understanding of the world, proficiency in other languages, and knowledge of other cultures.
Elementary Dual Language Immersion
Dual Language Immersion provides both native English speakers, and Spanish-speaking students the opportunity to learn to read, write, and communicate effectively in English and in Spanish while attaining high levels of academic achievement. Each student's primary language continues to be strengthened and augmented while he/she is immersed in a second language. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop an understanding and an appreciation for other cultures, develop high self-esteem, and build lasting connections to the world around them.
Ensuring that our Loudoun County graduates are globally engaged and productive citizens with knowledge, skills, experiences, and attributes that each student must attain to be successful in college and/or the workforce and to be "life ready" in the 21st Century.
In SY23-24, the program will be open to any interested LCPS resident scheduled to enter kindergarten. For SY 24-25, rising first graders may enter the lottery for any available seats at Potowmack Elementary School or Sanders Corner Elementary School.
More information can be found on the Special Programs page under Dual Language Immersion.
Secondary School Curriculum
Languages Offered by Grade LevelNot all languages are offered at all schools. Check with the counseling office at your school for course availability. Click on the language to view the current curricula.Middle School - All courses offer high school credit. Levels I and II of the high school course sequence include:FrenchHigh School - Students may continue the sequence begun at the middle school.
Levels I through IV Honors
Levels I through Advanced Placement French Language and Culture
Levels I through Advanced Placement German Language and Culture
Levels I through Advanced Placement Latin
Levels I through III
Levels I through IV Honors (Heritage High School only)
Levels I through Advanced Placement Language and Culture, Advanced Placement Literature
Levels I - III Honors, Advanced Placement Language and Culture, Advanced Placement Literature
Communicative Performance Assessments for World Languages (CPAs)
In Loudoun County Public Schools, all students enrolled in a world language course take quarterly benchmarks called Communicative Performance Assessment (CPAs). The work done in world language classes offers opportunities to practice performance that will gradually lead to proficiency in the language being studied. The purpose of these minor summative assessments is to systemically measure students’ performance as they gradually build language proficiency in the course. In French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish (as a second language) and Spanish for Fluent Speakers courses, Interpretive, Interpersonal and Presentational language functions are used to measure listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through culturally authentic tasks. Students in American Sign Language and Latin classes also take performance-based assessments that measure the respective language functions.The World Languages & Cultures CPAs are vetted yearly using student performance data every year to ensure validity, reliability, and alignment to the curricula. These quarterly assessments measure the LCPS world language curriculum; are aligned to the State of Virginia's Standards of Learning for World Languages (SOL); and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) National standards.Student performance is measured and collected through Phoenix and Performance Matters (data tracking software). At the end of each school year, the data is analyzed by the language teacher committees to make revisions and improvements to the curriculum materials and assessments. Beyond the yearly curricula revision, this quarterly data is essential for providing teachers unbiased, timely information of individual student progress that informs classroom instruction. Based on the students’ performance, teachers can make adjustments to classroom instruction by focusing on the needs of each student.The Office of World Languages and Cultures maintains these quarterly benchmark performance-based assessments by collaborating with teacher leaders and curriculum committee members in the secondary world language programs offered at LCPS.The world language teachers must provide the corresponding rubric for their respective languages and level. The rubric provides feedback on the students' areas of strengths and gaps needed to be filled. To familiarize students with each competency, teachers are encouraged to use the CPA rubric with other communicative classroom assessments. If you have questions about these quarterly assessments administered at your school, please contact the student’s World Language teacher or World Languages and Cultures Department Chair. Contact the Office of World Languages and Cultures for other questions.This graphic provides descriptors of the stages of language proficiency through which students will progress with continued practice and performance in their language program. For your reference, the minimum level of proficiency for success on a College Board® Advanced Placement World Language and Culture exam is Intermediate-Mid. The skills needed are indicated on the red bubble. Most students will need 6 years of practice, performance, and study to achieve that level of proficiency for all language skills.
FAQs about World Languages
Seal of Biliteracy - What is it?The State Seal of Biliteracy is an award given to graduating high school seniors, regardless of diploma type, that have attained proficiency in English and one or more languages.
- Prepare students for our 21st-century global society;
- The development of literacy in two or more languages is known to offer significant advantages to students, such as increasing mental flexibility, divergent thinking and mathematical problem-solving;
- Encourage students to develop and maintain biliteracy and multilingual skills;
- Recognize and honor our rich and diverse language assets our students possess;
- Promote the early study of world languages;
- Strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community; and
- Provide employers and universities with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills.
Seal of Biliteracy - General Criteria
Notice to Seniors:
The LCPS CTT testing window for language(s) other than English, for June 2022 Graduation, is set for the following dates:
Other proficiency assessments that are approved as acceptable evidence, such as the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL), are also available at schools. An updated list of assessments can be found on the Virginia Department of Education website. See the World Languages and Cultures Department Chair or the Director of Counseling for details.
Fall Testing Window - November 8 -11th
The following general criteria may be used to evaluate evidence of proficiency in languages other than English:
- pass the LCPS Credit Through Testing Exam (CTT); or
- pass a foreign language Advanced Placement examination with a score of 3 or higher or an International Baccalaureate examination with a score of 4 or higher; or
- score 600 or higher in a Latin SAT II test (SAT Subject Test); or
- receive a rating of Intermediate Mid or higher on a nationally or internationally available assessment of proficiency across language skills based on The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines; or
- pass a foreign government’s approved language exam, or a nation’s high school level standardized exam in a language from a country in which the language is taught in school at a level comparable to Intermediate-mid or higher on the ACTFL proficiency scale; or
- provide evidence of success at the B1 level or higher on an assessment authorized through the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; or
- provide evidence of attaining Level 3.0 or higher on the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI); or
- provide evidence of attaining an Intermediate level or higher rating on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI:ASL); or
- if no Advanced Placement examination or other nationally or internationally validated assessment exists and the school division can certify to the Superintendent that the test meets the rigor of a four-year high school course of study in that foreign language, passing a school division language examination that, at a minimum, assesses speaking, reading, listening, and writing in a language other than English at the Intermediate-mid proficiency level or higher. Any school division language examination offered as evidence for awarding the Seal of Biliteracy shall be approved in advance by the Superintendent for the purpose of determining proficiency in a language other than English.
Seal of Biliteracy - Acceptable Evidence for the AwardApproved Assessments by the Commonwealth of VirginiaFor the most up-to-date list, visit the Virginia Department of Education Seal of Biliteracy webpage.NOTE:
Seal of Biliteracy - Application Process
The Virginia Board of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy certifies attainment of a high level of proficiency by a graduating high school student in one or more languages in addition to English, and certifies that the graduate meets all of the following criteria:
The Board of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy will be awarded to students who earn a Board of Education-approved diploma and (i) pass all required End-of-Course Assessments in English reading and writing at the proficient or higher level; and (ii) be proficient at the intermediate-mid level or higher in one or more languages other than English, as demonstrated through an assessment from a list to be approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
For purposes of this article, "foreign language" means a language other than English, and includes American Sign Language.Student Application Process:
Submit LCPS Seals application and documentation of qualifying scores to your School Counselor at your high school no later than the date on the application available through the link below.
- Decide the language, other than English, for which you wish to be assessed.
- Work with the World Language Department Chair to schedule the appropriate assessment. (AAPPL is the recommended assessment if it is available in your language.)
- Once you have met or exceeded the minimum score for the assessment, complete all sections of the application found below. Type or print legibly all information. Have the World Language Department Chair sign the completed application that includes the required evidence of second language proficiency.
Credit Through Testing - OverviewCredit Through Testing (CTT) Overview
Students may register for the CTT through the Language Assessment Reporting System (LARS). The link is found under the Student Opportunities portal in LCPSGO. A confirmation ticket will be sent to the student and the parent/ guardian email on file.Loudoun County Public Schools allows students with the ability to comprehend and communicate in languages other than English, to earn high school credits through State-approved world language assessments. The Credit Through Testing (CTT) exam measures students’ language proficiency in order to award one, two, or three high school world language credits.The Credit Through Testing (CTT) exam is designed to assess students’ first language proficiency and is available for students in grades 9 through 12 only, whose first language is not English. The exam requires a student to read and comprehend exam instructions and writing prompts in the first language. The student must be able to write two well-developed essays in the exam language, each consisting of at least three cohesive paragraphs on two topics.The Credit Through Testing exam is offered each November. Students may take the exam two times per language while in high school. For SY 2023-2024, the following 26 languages will be available for assessment using the State approved rubric. These represent where 50 or more students in grades 9-12 speak the language as a first language at home: American Sign Language, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese/Mandarin, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Pashto, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
Registration for the exam will vary by school. Students may sign up online or request information on where to sign up for the Credit Through Testing Exam at the Counseling Office or the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the school.
(2023 CTT exam testing dates - October 30, 31, November 8, and 9. More information can be found under Credit through Testing Exam Sites)Students who pass the exam will also meet the language proficiency requirement to earn the Seal of Biliteracy at graduation. We will continue to use nationally-normed tests such as STAMP, AAPPL, OPI, OPIc, and the WPT to meet the requirement for the State Seal of Biliteracy.
- Registration opens on Friday, August 24, 2023
- Registration closes on Saturday, October 21, 2023.
Credit Through Testing - EligibilityWho is eligible to take the CTT exam?1. Students who do not already have levels 1, 2, or 3 credits in the language of the exam on their transcript (from another country or from the U.S.).2. Students who wish to earn the Seal of Biliteracy and already have credit for levels 1, 2, and 3 in the language of the exam.3. Students who are sufficiently proficient to write in the exam language.
4. For the current year exams, students who are literate in the following languages: American Sign Language, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese/Mandarin, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Pashto, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.Students may register for the CTT on LARS, through the Student Opportunities portal in LCPSGO. A confirmation ticket will be sent to the student and the parent/guardian email on file.
- A student who does not possess this writing ability will likely have difficulty demonstrating the required writing proficiency to pass the exam.
- If the exam language is Spanish and the school offers a Spanish for Fluent Speakers course, this may be the best venue for the Spanish-speaking student to achieve higher levels of proficiency in his/her first language.
- One component of the exam is for the student to read and comprehend the instructions and writing prompts in the exam language. If the student has difficulty reading the exam language, he/she will likely be unable to understand the prompt well enough to write a cohesive response.
Credit Through Testing - Exam SitesSY 2023-2024 Credit Through Testing Exam SitesStudents may register for the CTT on LARS found under the Student Opportunities portal in LCPSGO beginning August 24, 2023. A confirmation ticket will be sent to the student and the parent/guardian email on file.
TIMEMonday, October 30, 2023(Student Holiday)Tuscarora HS Cafeteria801 N King StreetLeesburg, VA1:00 - 3:00 p.m.(Check-in begins at 12:30 p.m.)Tuesday, October 31, 2023(Student Holiday)Park View HS Cafeteria400 W. Laurel AvenueSterling, VA1:00 - 3:00 p.m.(Check-in begins at 12:30 p.m.)Wednesday, November 8, 2023Heritage HS Cafeteria5:00 - 7:00 p.m.(Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m.)Wednesday, November 8, 2023Briar Woods HS Cafeteria22525 Belmont Ridge RdAshburn, VA5:00 - 7:00 p.m.(Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m.)Thursday, November 9, 2023Lightridge HS Cafeteria41025 Collaboration DriveAldie, VA5:00 - 7:00 p.m.(Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m.)
Credit Through Testing Results - Writing Proficiency Rating Information
CTT WRITING PROFICIENCY RATING