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.
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.
Minimum Evidence of Proficiency
General Language tests
Language Specific Tests
*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.
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 15. 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.
An updated and revised paper application will be available soon! (posted 12/21/18)
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 15th, or filed electronically by May 15th at 11:59 pm, of the student’s senior year.
What resources are available to support school districts in participating in the Seal of Biliteracy?
You can find a recording of a webinar here. During this webinar a brief overview was given and questions answered by the Department of Education and Carlos Gomez and Annemarie Orth of Portland Public Schools. Portland Public Schools, who has already gone through the process of testing students for the Seal of Biliteracy, has generously shared some of their resources here.
Can students show proficiency in English and more than one additional language?
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.
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|
see College Board's site for specific language exams
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.