The Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in the LOOK Act of 2017 (M.G.L. c. 69 § 1Q). The purposes of the Seal of Biliteracy are to:
- Encourage students to study and master languages;
- Certify attainment of biliteracy skills;
- Recognize the value of language diversity;
- Provide universities with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills;
- 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.
Application & Testing
- Application Deadline for class of 2024: Monday, December 4, 2023(Application open to WHS Seniors only).
- READ THE FAQs Section before completing the application.
- Application Process:
- APPLY for the Seal (Class of 2024) LINK COMING SOON
- Pay for the AAPPL® or ALIRA® assessment directly through the Language Testing International website. You will receive instructions via email after the deadline.
- Financial Assistance Information
To qualify for the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy, a student must meet all graduation requirements and:
(a) Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English by satisfying one of the following:
The English Language Arts requirement of the Competency Determination described in 603 CMR 30.03(2)(a); or
The English Language Arts requirement of the Competency Determination described in 603 CMR 30.03(3)(a); or
Students who are required to complete an Educational Proficiency Plan pursuant to 603 CMR 30.03(2)(b) or 603 CMR 30.03(3)(b) to satisfy the requirements of the Competency Determination must attain a minimum score or level on a nationally recognized and readily available English proficiency assessment approved by the Department. The Commissioner shall determine the minimum score or level, which shall be comparable to the minimum scaled score on the grade 10 English Language Arts MCAS required to satisfy the requirements of the Competency Determination under 603 CMR 30.03(2)(a) and 603 CMR 30.03(3)(a).
|Assessment in English||Source||Language||Skills||Seal of Biliteracy||Seal of Biliteracy iwth Distinction|
|Next-Gen ELA MCAS test or retest||State Assessment||English||Reading and Writing||472-500||500 or higher|
Students who earn a scaled score between 455 and 471 on the Grade 10 ELA MCAS test or retest may still satisfy the English language criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy if they fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan and attain a minimum score or level on a nationally recognized and readily available English proficiency assessment approved by the Department, such as ACCESS for ELLs.
 The minimum scores for ACCESS for ELLs are 4.2 overall and 3.9 composite literacy. Please contact the DESE Office of Language Acquisition to inquire about other English proficiency assessments.
b) Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in a foreign language through one of the following:
Attaining a minimum score or level of INTERMEDIATE-HIGH on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines of 2012, published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, on a language assessment approved by the Department. At this time, WPS will offer the Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL®) to all interested students for modern languages* and the ALIRA® for students of Latin.
A qualifying AP® language exam score of 4 or 5 from May 2022.
A student may also be able to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in a world language under certain circumstances as described in the Portfolio-Based Alternative Evidence Method for Foreign Language Assessments. (See http://www.doe.mass.edu/ell/guidance/default.html —Guidelines for Implementing the State Seal of Biliteracy, Section V.).
|Assessment in Other Language||Source||Languages||Skills||Seal of Biliteracy||Seal of Biliteracy iwth Distinction|
|AAPPL®||DESE-Approved Assessment||Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.||Reading, Writing, Presentational Speaking, Interpersonal Speaking||Intermediate-High||Advanced|