What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

The SEAL OF BILITERACY is a distinction that encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the language skills our students attain, and serves as evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. Students meeting the requirements for the Seal of Biliteracy will receive this designation in the form of an insignia affixed to their transcripts or diplomas.

The Seal of Biliteracy is a national movement.  To read more about which states have approved the Seal and what it’s all about, check out the national Seal of Biliteracy website.

Who is eligible and how do I qualify?

To qualify, a student must meet all graduation requirements and:

  • Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English with a score of 240 or above on the 10th-grade ELA MCAS.
  • Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in an other language by passing an assessment approved by the  Massachusetts DESE.
    • Advanced Placement (AP®) Language and Culture
      • (Score of 4 – 5, in May prior to year of graduation).
    • Advanced Placement (AP®) Literature and Culture  
      • (Score of 4 – 5, in May prior to year of graduation).
    • Advanced Placement (AP®) Latin  
      • (Score of 4 – 5, in May prior to year of graduation)
    • AAPPL® (ACTFL Assessment of Performance towards Proficiency in Languages)
      • (Score of Intermediate-High or higher, by April of senior year).
    • ALIRA® (ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment)
      • (Score of Intermediate-High or higher, by April of senior year).

What is the deadline and why is it at 2:30 PM?

The deadline to apply for 2019 is 2:30 PM on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Testing begins on March 23, 2019. There a lot of details to sort out such as technology checks, space, testing tickets, usernames, passwords.  We need time to have all of these details arranged.  The 2:30 PM deadline on March 20 is firm.  Deadlines will vary year to year.  Check back during your senior year for updated details.

Why can’t I use my AP® scores from senior year?

The Seal of Biliteracy is a graduation distinction.  AP® exams are not scored until mid-June each year, so scores will not be available before graduation.

What languages are available on AAPPL®?

The AAPPL is available in:

  • Arabic,
  • Chinese,
  • French,
  • German,
  • Hindi,
  • Italian,
  • Japanese,
  • Korean,
  • Portuguese,
  • Russian,
  • Spanish, and
  • Thai.

But I take Latin. What assessment do I take?

Students wishing to receive the Seal in Latin take the ALIRA® (unless they took the AP® Latin exam last year and scored 4 or 5).

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

Contact the department head for Classical and Modern Languages for alternative testing options or portfolio eligibility.

How do I apply?

Apply here (Students must be logged in to their WHS account to access the application form.)  This link will change annually, and will be live only at specified times each year.  Ask your language teacher or the CML department head for details.

What is the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction?

If your 10-grade ELA MCAS score is 260 or higher and your AAPPL score is Advanced-Low (or AP score is 5), you will be recognized with distinction.

How will the school know that I have applied for the Seal or have earned the award?

You are solely responsible for providing all official paperwork demonstrating competence in two or more languages (including English) as described above to your house office no later than April 30th of your senior year. It is your responsibility to ascertain that your grade-10 ELA MCAS scores and AAPPL®, ALIRA® or AP® scores on file. If the house office does not have all required documentation on time, you will not be eligible for the Seal.

When will I receive my AAPPL or ALIRA score?

AAPPL® and ALIRA® scores will be available approximately 2 weeks after you sit for the assessment. We will notify you how to obtain your official score report.  If you do not receive notification by April 20, 2019, please contact the CML department head immediately.

What’s taking the AAPPL like?

See the AAPPL Measure FAQs page for details?

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