Seal of Biliteracy FAQ

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

The Seal of Biliteracy provides a means to recognize high school graduates who demonstrate high functional and academic levels of proficiency in English and another language, whether they speak the non-English language at home or learned it at school or in the community. The purposes of the State Seal of Biliteracy are to: 

  • Encourage students to study and master languages;
  • Certify attainment of biliteracy skills;
  • Recognize the value of language diversity;
  • Provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills;
  • Provide universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for the attainment of high-level skills in languages;
  • Prepare students with skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society; and
  • Strengthen intergroup communication and honor the multiple cultures and languages in a community.

Who is eligible and how do I qualify?

Seniors who meet all graduation requirements, in addition to the language requirements below will be eligible for a biliteracy award.

Award

English Language Requirement

Second Language Requirement

MA State Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction

Advanced (260) on the current ELA grade 10 MCAS

Advanced-Low proficiency as measured by an assessment approved by DESE

MA State Seal of Biliteracy

Proficient (240) on the current ELA grade 10 MCAS; or 4.2 overall and 3.9 composite literacy score on ACCESS for ELL

Intermediate-High proficiency as measured by a language assessment approved by DESE

LOC Biliteracy Achievement Award

Proficient (240) on the current ELA grade 10 MCAS; or 4.2 overall and 3.9 composite literacy score on ACCESS for ELLs

Intermediate-Mid proficiency  as measured by a language assessment approved by DESE

What languages assessments are approved by DESE?

There is a long list of assessments that may serve to fulfill the second language proficiency requirements. Students at BHS have access to AP exams, the AAPPL (in French and Spanish classes) and the ALIRA (in Latin). Additional proficiency tests will be made available to students wishing to demonstrate proficiency in other languages. 

What if I've already taken and met the minimum score on an approvied assessment for a second language?

Excellent! All stud You do not need to do anything else to fulfill that requirement. You will provide your score information in the registration packet.

What if I've already taken and missed the minimum score on an approvied assessment for a second language?

Don't worry! We are offering proficiency testing in second languages a few times this winter. You can find information on the tests and dates in the registration packet.

What languages are available on the AAPPL®?

The ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Language (AAPPL) is available in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

What is taking the AAPPL® like?

          Information about the AAPPL® is available here

What test can I take for Latin?

          Students wishing to receive the Seal in Latin take the ALIRA®

What is taking the ALIRA® like?

          Information about the ALIRA® is available here

What if I would like to apply for the Seal in a language not listed above?

Contact, Dana Curran, Program Director of World Languages, for alternative testing options or portfolio eligibility by the deadline.

How do I apply?

Complete the Registration paperwork available here and on the World Language Department website.  Ask your language teacher or the Program Director for details.