Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Program
The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy is an award provided by state-approved districts that recognizes those students who have studied and attained academic and functional literacy in English as well as another language by high school graduation.
As a two-part process, students must demonstrate their competency in English by scoring proficiently on the MCAP English 10 assessment, which is an assessment requirement for high school graduation.
For the second part of the process, students must demonstrate proficiency in another language through a standard assessment that includes reading, listening, speaking, and writing in the second language and aligns with the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. Currently, ACPS uses the AAPPL test, a web-based proficiency and performance assessment. As another pathway, students may demonstrate proficiency by attaining a 4 or higher on a College Board Advanced Placement exam in the chosen language.
Students who are native speakers of a language or heritage speakers who know a second language because it is used by their families and in their homes are also encouraged to take the test in their chosen language. It is important that students are recognized for their biliteracy skills, even if the language is not one that is a course of study within our schools.
Earning the Seal of Biliteracy requires many years of acquisition, studying the culture and its language and regularly using the language in order to reach the targeted proficiency levels. While fluent students can begin assessing as early as Grade 8, most students do not earn their second language portion of the MD Seal of Biliteracy until they have completed several years of advanced study at the high school level.
The MD Seal of Biliteracy is awarded at high school graduation and appears on the transcript of the graduating senior. Biliterate language credentials are evidence of advanced proficiency and are a statement of accomplishment for students in the college admissions process and in future employment. Advanced placement in courses, scholarship and internship applications, expanded workplace opportunities and pay differentials are all potential benefits of language biliteracy.
The benefits of a biliterate education are vast. As advances in technology and the global market have made multicultural and multinational interactions a commonplace need, our students are not just communicating through a language-- they are becoming familiar with world societies, which expands their understanding and appreciation for new people and new cultures.
If you are interested in more information about our Maryland Seal of Biliteracy program, please contact your student’s high school guidance counselor or world language teacher. You may also visit the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy website at https://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DCAA/World-Languages/Biliteracy/index.aspx.