World Language Department Placement Test Information

There will be a placement test in August, date and location TBD.

  • Students who are enrolled in French 1B, Japanese 1B, and Spanish 1B should enroll in level 2. No placement test is needed. At the beginning of the year we occasionally move students up or down a level based on their proficiency.
  • Students who have prior knowledge of French, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish and are not currently in a world language class in the district need to take a placement test at Paly so that we can see where they might fit into our program. Prior knowledge includes immersion programs, after school programs, and target language spoken at home.
  • The placement test is a proficiency-based test that involves speaking and writing. It is not based on any specific curriculum but measure global knowledge and experience. Once the test is graded, we determine if the student will fit into the current offerings at Paly. Sometimes students are very fluent in the target language and are far beyond anything they could learn in our classes. We recommend that those students choose another language.
  • Level 1 courses are designed for students who are truly novices in the target language and know less than 25 words. We never allow natives speakers into any class below level 3 because their presence is intimidating to the true beginner in the class. They can work as aides but not take a lower level class.

Most students coming to Paly do not need to take a placement exam in world language.

The exam measures current oral and written proficiency in the language. This exam is not a final exam skip test based on a particular curriculum. The test has been designed to measure a student’s language proficiency and determine where he/she would fit best into our program.

Incoming 8th grade students whose oral and written proficiency meets the standard for AP Language will be put on a waiting list for 10th grade since we do not allow 9th graders into AP Language.

Contact Carla Guerard, World Language Instructional Leader at with any questions.



Alvarado, Marina Teacher, Spanish
Badillo Novas, Pilar Teacher, Spanish
Bocksnick, Lisa Department Secretary
Duffy, Kevin Teacher, Spanish
Ezcurra, Jose Teacher, Spanish
Gonzalez, Cristina Teacher, Spanish
Guerard, Carla Teacher, French, TA, Instructional Leader (IL)
Hall, Matt Student Activities Director, Teacher, Japanese
Huang, Chingfen Teacher, Mandarin Chinese
Kamikihara, Teruko Teacher, Japanese
Resinger, Christy Teacher, French, TA
Riordan, Mary Teacher, Spanish
Rivera, Magdalena Teacher, ASL, Living Skills
Vericat, Josep Teacher, Spanish

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