Empowering Communication: The Impact of the Language Stamp Test

Herrin High School French and Spanish students took the STAMP Test last week!
Reese Elliott (11) practicing to take her STAMP Test.
Reese Elliott (11) practicing to take her STAMP Test.
Photography, Ryleigh Pitman

The STAMP Test is an online computer-adaptive assessment. The STAMP Test assesses your ability to read, write, listen, and speak in a different language. Students at Herrin High have the opportunity to take the STAMP Test after taking two-three years of a certain foreign language.

Taking the test ultimately determines whether you are bilingual or not. In order to receive the Seal of Biliteracy-Commendation you must score a four in all four domains. Whereas the determining factor to receive the Seal of Biliteracy is whether or not you score a six in each of the four domains.

Herrin High School offers the STAMP test for both French and Spanish students. Students pay $25.00 to take the exam. HHS is thankful to have the opportunity to take the STAMP test.

Tiger Journalists had the opportunity to interview students who have taken the STAMP Test in the past and who are taking the STAMP Test for the first time this year.

Sydney Atchison, a year three Spanish student took the STAMP Test for the first time last week. We asked her why she took the test. Atchison claimed, “The test will help with my future workforce.” We also asked her what she did to prepare for the STAMP Test and she stated, “I did a lot of Duolingo, like Mrs. Estes suggested and I think it helped a lot.”

Mads Labotte, who is in her fourth year of French and has now taken the STAMP Test twice. Labotte has already received the Seal of Biliteracy from her first time taking the test, which is a huge achievement. Once you receive the Seal it cannot be taken away, but Labotte stated, “I feel like I needed to do a lot better this year than I did last year.” We asked Labotte what she did to prepare this year. Labotte added that she “had hour-long conversations speaking strictly French with Caden Green.”

We also interviewed two of our foreign language teachers, Mrs. Stanley and Mrs. Estes.

Out of Mrs. Estes’ Spanish classes, thirteen students took the STAMP Test. We interviewed Mrs. Estes about why taking the test is so important and she stated, “It can make you more marketable and show that you have a greater ability to speak with Spanish speakers.” The Seal of Biliteracy is a huge accomplishment and jobs and colleges do find it very appealing. Mrs. Estes also added, “Since Spanish is the second language of the United States, it is highly impacting the workforce.”

Mrs. Stanley’s French three and four students took the STAMP Test on Thursday and Friday, April 24th and April 15th from 8-12 am. There were eight French students who took the STAMP Test. Mrs. Stanley stated, “This is a very exciting event and students are on the cutting edge of what is happening in language training in Illinois.”

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