Graduating seniors who have demonstrated their language skills through World Language Credit Testing (earning 4 credits) or by passing Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) language exams will have the honor of receiving the State Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal is intended to highlight the benefits in today’s world of speaking, reading, and writing English and at least one other language.
About the Seal of Biliteracy
The Washington State Seal of Biliteracy was passed by the Legislature in 2014, and the first State Seals were issued in June 2015. Students received a Seal of Biliteracy sticker to affix to their high school diploma and a medallion to wear at graduation. (View Seal of Biliteracy Diploma Sticker and Medallion).
Last year, Seattle honored 195 students:
- 84 for AP (level 3+) Chinese, French, Japanese, Spanish
- 52 for IB (level 4+) French, Japanese, Spanish
- 59 for 4 Competency-Based Credits in Amharic, Dutch, German, Mandarin, Oromo, Persian, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai, Tigrinya, Vietnamese
As of June 1, 2016, we had identified 299 students:
- 121 for AP (score of 3 or higher) French, Japanese, Spanish
- 55 for IB (score of 4 or higher) French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish
- 123 for 4 Competency-Based Credits in Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese - Traditional Characters, French, Korean, Mandarin - Simplified Characters, Oromo, Polish, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Urdu, Vietnamese
(More students will qualify once we receive AP and IB test results in summer 2016.)
What Students Receive
Students receive a medallion to wear at graduation. The medallions are delivered by end of May to the high schools (to a coordinator of graduation ceremonies). Some high schools distribute them at an awards ceremony at the school; others may hand them out for graduation. In addition, the Seal "sticker" is affixed to the students' diplomas and a letter about the Seal is enclosed with the diplomas when they are delivered to the schools in June. Finally, high school counselors need to update the students' transcripts to reflect that they received the Seal of Biliteracy.
How to Qualify
Students can qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy by meeting all graduation requirements, including required ELA state assessments, plus demonstrating proficiency in another language through the three testing options indicated above (AP score of 3 or higher; IB SL or HL with a score of 4 or higher, or 4 credits (overall Intermediate Mid or higher proficiency) through Competency-Based Credit testing). Use the OSPI Flow Chart to determine eligibility.
The district offers World Language Credit Testing monthly during the school year at the Seattle World School. Dates for 2016-2017 have been set. Learn more at:
View the World Language Credit Program video to get inspired!
The Seal of Biliteracy is part of the Road Map Project's campaign on Building Bilingual Pride. Download the Building Bilingual Pride brochure.
For more background on the Seal of Biliteracy, view Seal of Biliteracy slides or visit:
Questions? Contact Dr. Michele Anciaux Aoki firstname.lastname@example.org.