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.

How do I qualify?

You must current be a senior planning to graduate this academic year. RLS students as well as WHS students are eligible. See the main WHS Seal of Biliteracy page for details.

What is the application deadline?

January 5, 2021.

When will the test be administered and how long does it take?

AAPPL testing takes a minimum of 2 hours.

Some students finish in that amount of time;  others have needed as much as 4 hours to complete the tests (AAPPLs are untimed;  ALIRA for Latin is timed).

DESE is holding a webinar for school leaders in mid January with important updates and guidance for this year.  While we will be accepting applications, AAPPL and ALIRA test registration and date options will not be open until after the DESE webinar.

Can I use AP® scores ?

In past years, AP® Exam scores from junior year were eligible.  Because 2019 AP® Exams did not assess reading and writing, DESE may not allow these scores for 2021.

The Seal of Biliteracy is a graduation distinction.  AP® exams are not scored until mid-June each year.  Therefore, the Massachusetts DESE regulations do not permit AP® scores from senior-year exams.

What languages are available on AAPPL®?

The AAPPL is available in:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • 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 by the deadline.

Can I earn the Seal in more than one language?

Yes!  If you speak, read and write another language, we encourage you to apply for the seal.

How do I apply?

Apply using the link on the main WHS Seal of Biliteracy page (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 or ALIRA score is Advanced-Low (or AP® score is 5), you will be recognized with distinction.

When will I receive my AAPPL or ALIRA score and how are the results reported?

AAPPL® and ALIRA® scores will be available approximately 2 to 3 weeks after you sit for the assessment. You will receive your score directly from Language Testing International.  LTI will also report your score to us.

AAPPL breaks the proficiency scale down by range:

    • Novice Low (N1)
    • Novice Mid (N2, N3)
    • Novice High (N4)
    • Intermediate Low (I1)
    • Intermediate Mid (I2, I3, I4)
    • Intermediate High (I5, I6)
    • Advanced Low (A1)

What’s taking the AAPPL like?

See the AAPPL Measure FAQs page for details.

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