Maine Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award that recognizes student achievement in language learning. Students who are proficient in English and an additional language may earn the Seal of Biliteracy by demonstrating their skills on an approved assessment. Students receive a seal affixed to their diploma and an indication of receiving the Seal of Biliteracy on their high school transcripts. This award elevates the study of languages and gives students an edge for their college applications and professional careers.  

CRITERIA 

In order to be eligible for the Seal, students must complete one of the following in the categories of English and Additional Language.  The links below will show what languages are tested for each General Language test. 

Language

Minimum Evidence of Proficiency

English

  • Meeting English Language Arts (ELA) standards required for graduation
  • 480 or above for ELA on SAT
  • Score of 3 or above on AP English Language or AP English Literature
  • ELLs score composite proficiency level of 4.5 or Maine state threshold and above on ACCESS

Additional Language

General Language tests

Language Specific Tests

  • Score of 3 or above on American Sign Langauge Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)
  • Score of Intermediate Plus or above on Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI)
  • Score of 5 or above on Avant Arabic Proficiency Test (APT)
  • Score of 5 on Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK)
  • Score of CERF B1 on Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française/Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DELF/DALF)
  • Score of CERF B1 on Deutsches Sprachdiplom I (DSD)
  • Score of CERF B1 on Ellinomatheia
  • Score of I2 on the ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA)
  • Score of 5 or above on Avant Spanish Heritage Language Test (SHL)
  • Score of CERF B1 on Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE)

Additional pathways

  • Provide transcripts from a school in a foreign country showing at least three years of instruction in the student’s home/native language in Grade 8 or beyond, with an equivalent grade average of B or higher
  • For Less Common World Language and Native American Languages where testing is not available through the above tests, please reach out to the Maine DOE World Languages Specialist to establish an appropriate measure of intermediate-mid proficiency based on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale

 *Students seeking the Seal of Biliteracy through the ACTFL OPI may be required to show proficiency in other available language modalities using the ACTFL Listening (LPT), Reading (RPT), and/or Writing (WPT) tests.

 
APPLICATION PROCESS 

Beginning with the Class of 2019, the Maine DOE will award the Seal of Biliteracy to any student who meets the benchmarks listed above.  District administration along with World Language and ESL teachers will be responsible for ensuring that eligible students take the necessary tests.  Districts can submit all student applications and supporting materials to the Maine DOE by May 1. Students may also submit student applications and supporting materials independently.  

Starting in April, students and districts will have the opportunity to complete an application electronically.  

Maine Seal of Biliteracy Application

 
FAQ

How will the Maine Seal of Biliteracy be awarded? 

The World Language Specialist at the Maine DOE will review all applications and test scores.  If the student meets the requirements, Maine DOE will send schools: a Seal to be affixed to the diploma, a letter to include the Seal of Biliteracy on the student's transcript, and a certificate to be presented at graduation.  Schools will also have the option of purchasing a sash/ribbon that the student can wear for the graduation ceremony. 

When possible, a representative from the Maine DOE will attend award ceremonies to present the seal. 

When is the deadline to submit the Maine Seal of Biliteracy application? 

All applications must be postmarked by May 1st, or filed electronically by May 1st at 11:59 pm, of the student’s senior year. 

Can students show proficiency in English and more than one additional language? 

Yes.

How is the minimum evidence of proficiency determined? 

While each test may choose to report scores differently, the scores listed under the minimum evidence required all align to Intermediate-Mid Proficiency on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale.  A description of the Intermediate-Mid proficiency level is located here and a list of what students are able to do at the Intermediate-Mid proficiency is located here. ACTFL also provides information for how Intermediate-Mid Proficiency connects to the workplace.

What if a student is not literate in their first language? 

We recognize that for a variety of reasons all students may not have had an opportunity to become literate in their first language.  This does not prevent them from applying for the Maine Seal of Biliteracy.  Students are encouraged to take one of the tests that will allow them to demonstrate their oral and verbal comprehension skills. 

What if my language does not have a written form? 

We recognize that all languages and cultures are not print based.  This does not prevent students from applying for the Maine Seal of Biliteracy.  Students are encouraged to take one of the tests that will allow them to demonstrate their oral and verbal comprehension skills.  If there is not test available, please reach out to the World Language Specialist at the Department of Education to discuss alternative ways to demonstrate proficiency.  

How much do tests cost? 

There is a wide range of prices on the approved tests.  It is strongly suggested to consult the websites listed below for the most up to date pricing and to choose one that is within your budget. 

Tests Link to Pricing
AP Exam https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/takingtheexam/exam-fees 
IB Exam https://www.ibo.org/become-an-ib-school/fees-and-services/assessment-fees-and-services/  
AAPPL https://www.languagetesting.com/aappl 
ACTFL OPI https://www.languagetesting.com/oral-proficiency-interview-opi/ 
STAMP 4S https://avantassessment.com/stamp4s/frequently-asked-questions 
WorldSpeak https://avantassessment.com/worldspeak
NEWL https://www.americancouncils.org/newl-dates-deadlines-fees
ALTA https://www.altalang.com/language-testing/faq/ 
ASLPI https://www.ets.org/praxis/ct/aslpi/ 
AVANT APT https://avantassessment.com/apt/faq 
ALIRA https://www.languagetesting.com/actfl-latin-interpretive-reading-assessment 
AVANT SHL https://avantassessment.com/shl 

Are their sample tests available so that students can familiarize themselves with the test format? 

The resources available vary by test.  It is recommended to reach out to test providers and see what additional resources: sample tests, resource guides, etc. are available.  Below is the information that is currently available 

Tests Links to Resources
AP EXAM

see College Board's site for specific language exams 

IB EXAM https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/assessment-and-exams/sample-exam-papers/ 
AAPPL https://www.languagetesting.com/aappl-demo   
ACTFL OPI https://www.languagetesting.com/oral-proficiency-interview-opi/  
STAMP 4S https://www.update.avantassessment.com/sample-tests#4S_Sample 
ASLPI https://www.ets.org/praxis/ct/aslpi/ 
AVANT APT https://avantassessment.com/apt 
DELF/DALF http://www.ciep.fr/en/delf-scolaire
ALIRA https://www.languagetesting.com/actfl-latin-interpretive-reading-assessment 
AVANT SHL https://avantassessment.com/shl 
DELE https://www.dele.org/?page=dele/intermediate-mid-threshold-level

Will there be support around the Seal of Biliteracy for districts?

Yes.  There will be webinars offered in November to answer questions and concerns from districts around the Seal of Biliteracy.

Where can I learn more about the Seal of Biliteracy? 

For more information about the Seal of Biliteracy visit https://sealofbiliteracy.org/.

Links to press coverage around the Maine Seal of Biliteracy.

http://www.mainepublic.org/post/new-state-award-recognizes-maine-students-bilingual-proficiency#stream/0

https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/45456-seal-of-biliteracy-announced-by-doe