Seal of Biliteracy

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

The Seal of Biliteracy recognizes graduates who speak, listen, read and write proficiently in another language in addition to English with a seal on the high school diploma. The Seal bill has the goal of promoting long term foreign, native, and heritage language study, documenting achievement in biliteracy, and producing a biliterate, multicultural workforce.

Why is the Seal of Biliteracy Important for Massachusetts?

  • The Seal places the focus on what students can do with languages and rewards the critical skill of biliteracy. For foreign language learners, the Seal rewards proficiency in a language rather than focusing on how many years they have studied it. For English Language Learners, the Seal rewards students who attain biliteracy in English and their native language.
  • The Seal encourages programs to develop proficiency-oriented goals for program completers and encourages students to pursue longer programs of language study to develop higher levels of proficiency. It also encourages school districts to develop language acquisition programs that support English Language Learners becoming fully biliterate in their native languages, and to reward these bilingual students for their language skills.
  • The Seal provides evidence to universities and businesses that our students have attained this important 21st century skill. This not only involves learning another language, but also learning how to effectively communicate with people from other cultures. It encourages students to pursue biliteracy and honors those who do, giving them the ability to highlight this skill in college and job applications.

Update: November 22, 2017: A state Seal of Biliteracy was signed into law as part of the LOOK Bill.

Links & Resources