Officially Bilingual: State Seal of Biliteracy


State of California

The California State Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to students who demonstrate proficiency in a second language.

What is the State Seal of Biliteracy? The Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to high school Seniors if they can prove that they speak two languages: English and one additional language.

However, a student must also have a number of requirements to be eligible for the Seal to appear on their diploma. The main requirements for obtaining the Seal are passing the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) Test with a grade of 3 or 4 and passing an AP Language test. For example, if a student received a score of 4 or 5 on the AP (Advanced Placement) Spanish Exam, they would be eligible (if a student speaks a language not offered through AP they would have to be given an exam by the school district). But if a student doesn’t have these main requirements, they will not be able to apply for the Seal.

How does the Seal benefit you and what is its purpose? The purpose is to encourage students to develop their skills in a second language and to recognize them as bilingual people. Furthermore, the benefits are very helpful in the life of the student who receives this recognition, as it is an award that is not only backed by the school district but also the State of California since it is proof that you can speak, understand, write and read two different languages with some proficiency.

This can help you get a better job. “It is an extra tool for an employer as it can help the company and also benefits the bilingual person,” said Mrs. Soberanis, Spanish 4 teacher, at Cam High.

For university admissions, it benefits you because AP Tests in a foreign language can fulfill academic credits and the Seal makes your application more competitive.

What happens if your first language is not English? If your first language is not English and you are recognized as an English learner, in the last school year in high school you have to demonstrate your English proficiency by taking the ELPAC test and passing it with a 4/4 score.

Before trying to get the Seal, try to find out if you have the basic requirements, such as a satisfactory score on the CAASPP TEST, and the additional test of your second language.