Seal of Biliteracy
Back to the Diploma Seals Page
Intent to Participate Form
Complete for 2022-2023 School Year
closed for this year, please contact ADE for assistance
Complete for 2021-2022 School Year
The Arizona Seal of Biliteracy Program recognizes high school students who achieve proficiency in English plus at least one additional language. The seal is placed on the student’s diploma and noted on the transcript.
Public school districts and public charter Schools are required to notify ADE of its intent to participate by September 1st of the current school year by filling out The Intent to Participate Form.
- Seal of Biliteracy Introductory Video | Overview slide deck
- State Board of Education R7-2-317
- Arizona SB 1239
Overview: Seal of Biliteracy Program
While language study can begin at any grade level, the use of the terms Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced indicate general performance and proficiency levels. Each level considers how well a speaker uses vocabulary, text type, language functions, context, accuracy control, and communication strategies. Additionally, each level takes into consideration how well the speaker is comprehended by others. A brief overview follows:
Novice: The student communicates with words/characters and phrases to express basic needs on familiar topics that have been highly practiced and memorized. The learner controls the accuracy within the memorized and practiced context and can be understood by one accustomed to dealing with language learners (a sympathetic listener). Example: “gloves”, “need gloves”, “I need gloves.”
Intermediate: The student communicates with sentences and some connected sentences while expressing and elaborating on basic needs. The learner controls the language with enough accuracy to be understood by one accustomed to dealing with language learners. Example: “I need winter gloves because my hands are cold.”
Advanced: The student communicates in various time frames in extended, organized paragraph-length discourse to respond to and resolve problems. The learner controls the language sufficiently enough to interact effectively with someone unaccustomed to dealing with language learners. Example: “If gloves are on sale when I get my next paycheck, I might go get a pair to keep my hands warm.”
As students acquire language skills, they will progress through these proficiency levels with varying degrees of language control, expanding the range of listeners with whom they will be able to communicate. Students in the Novice and Intermediate levels, in particular, will tend to make many errors in their communication; this is normal. In general, students communicating at the Novice level will be comprehensible only to very sympathetic listeners such as teachers and fellow language learners. As students move into the Intermediate level, they become more comprehensible to sympathetic listeners in a wider range of situations, and their expanding skills should afford them the ability to sometimes be understood by some native speakers. By the time they reach Advanced proficiency, students should have a higher degree of accuracy, and they should be largely comprehensible to most native speakers.
The graphic above illustrates the full scope of student performance and proficiency in a target language over many years of study and across 5 levels of proficiency. These levels are generalizations and vary according to the time spent in the language as well as the difficulty of the language studied. These proficiency levels are based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines 2012 and can be used to measure performance in an instructional setting. The levels of Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced are further subdivided into sub-levels Low, Mid, and High. As students spend more time in the target language, their performance toward their true proficiency level begins to expand. The highest two levels (Superior and Distinguished) are not included in Arizona’s World and Native Languages Standards because these levels are generally not considered outcomes of K-12 learning.
The language categories listed below are aligned with the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute School of Language Studies. This list is not exhaustive and we encourage obtaining the Seal of Biliteracy in other languages not listed here.
For more information about Foreign Language Training through the Department of State, CLICK HERE.
|Category I||Category II||Category III||Category IV|
Participation in the Seal of Biliteracy Program
Eligibility for the State Seal of Biliteracy - Students must complete ALL requirements listed below.
- The student must successfully complete all English Language Arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average in those classes of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
- English Language Arts Assessment: To demonstrate English language proficiency, the student must attain the required score on an English language assessment selected from the menu of assessments adopted by the State Board of Education.
- If the student has a primary home language other than English and is receiving English Language Learner services in grades 9-12, the student shall obtain a score of proficient based on the AZELLA. If the student passes out of English Language Learner services prior to grade 9, that student will need to use a different English language assessment selected from the menu of assessments adopted by the State Board of Education.
- Second Language Assessment: Students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language through an assessment selected from the menu of second language assessments adopted by the State Board of Education or an alternative evidence model.
- Assessment Method: To demonstrate language proficiency through the assessment method, the student must attain the required score on a language assessment as adopted by the State Board of Education.
- Alternative Evidence Method: An alternative evidence method may be used in specified circumstances.
- No standardized assessment exists for the targeted second language.
- Evaluating the language proficiency of a student with disabilities for whom the standardized assessment is inappropriate.
- The standardized assessment for the targeted second language does not assess one or more of the four domains of speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
- Every year public districts and public charters are required to notify ADE of their intent to participate by September 1st of the current school year by filling out the Intent to Participate Form (closed for the year, please contact ADE for assistance).
- Districts/schools must designate at least one individual to serve as Coordinator of the Program.
- Districts/schools must complete the Reporting Form at the end of the school year or within 90 days of the close of school or by September 1st of the following year.
- Districts/schools must make available to parents and students information regarding the Program (see the Seals flyers).
English language proficiency exams need to be completed during grades 9-12. If a student receives proficiency test data after school has ended (AP or IB exams for example), they still earn the Seal. They can return their diploma to their school to have the Seal of Biliteracy attached. The transcripts would also be updated by the district/school once the proficiency tests have been recorded.
- Attain a score of 230 or higher
ACTFL Assessment of Performance Towards Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL):
- Attain a score of Intermediate 3 for the English language
Advanced Placement Exams
- Attain a score of 3 or higher
International Baccalaureate Exams
- Attain a score of 4 or higher
Arizona Board of Regents English Placement Exam
Avant STAMP 4S
- Attain a score of 5 for the English language
EdReady Exam (English Placement)
- Attain a score of 80 or higher
End of Course Exam for Dual-Enrollment or Concurrent Enrollment Community College Course
- Attain a passing score on the end-of-course exam
Nationally Recognized College Entrance Exam (ACT or SAT)
- ACT - both Reading and English combined
- Attain a score of 43 or higher
- Attain a score of 550 or higher
Second language proficiency exams need to be completed during grades 9-12 and preferably in grades 11 or 12. If a student receives proficiency test data after school has ended (AP or IB exams for example), they still earn the Seal. They can return their diploma to their school to have the Seal of Biliteracy attached. The transcripts would also be updated by the district/school once the proficiency tests have been recorded.
ACTFL Assessment of Performance Towards Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL):
- Attain a score of Intermediate 3 for category I through III languages
- Attain a score of Intermediate 2 in writing and reading and Intermediate 3 in speaking and listening for category IV languages
ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA):
- Attain a score of Intermediate 3
ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI):
- Attain a score of Intermediate-Mid on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) or the Oral Proficiency Interview
Computer (OPIC) combined with the Writing Proficiency Test (WPI), Reading Proficiency Test (RPI), and the
Listening Proficiency Test (LPT)
- All four domains are needed to be met (speaking, writing, listening, reading)
Advanced Placement Examinations:
- Attain a score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement examination for the world and native language(s)
- Attain a score of 1+ or higher
American Sign Language:
- Attain a score of Intermediate on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview OR
- Attain a score of 3 or higher on the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)
Avant STAMP 4S
- Attain a score of 5 in all four sections for category I through III languages
- Attain a score of 4 in writing and reading and a 5 in speaking and listening for category IV languages
Avant STAMP WS
- Attain a score of 5 or higher on BOTH parts
Cambridge International Exam - AS Level Spanish:
- Attain a score of A (Intermediate-Mid)
Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) and Diploma in French Language (DELF):
- For Spanish, attain a score of B1
- For French, attain a score of B1
European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages (ECL) Hungarian Language Exam:
- Attain a qualifying score of B1-CEFR in Hungarian or a minimum score of 40 percent on each of the four portions and an average score of 60 percent on all four portions
- Attain a score of B1 or higher
Attain a score of 4 or higher for Higher-Level (HL) language classes and 5 or higher for Standard-Level (SL) language classes on an International Baccalaureate examination for the world and native language(s)
• SL comprises 150 teaching hours
• HL comprises 240 teaching hours
Navajo Nation Seal of Biliteracy Proficiency Assessment:
- Attain a score of 3 (reached) or 4 (goes beyond)
Alternate Evidence Method
- Must be approved by ADE prior to submission of the final report.
- Contact [email protected] for approval.
The Arizona Department of Education does not supply any of the following options. These are items a local district or school may choose to provide to their students that earn the Seal of Biliteracy.
- Triple wrapped graduation cord - Colors for the Seal of Biliteracy should be the Arizona state flag colors of red, yellow, and blue
- Certificates issued to students earning the Seal of Biliteracy
- Medals for the Seal of Biliteracy
- Recognition ceremony or assembly
- Mention in a local paper
- Banner with student names that earned the Seal of Biliteracy
If a student receives proficiency test data after school has ended (AP or IB exams for example), they still earn the Seal. They can return their diploma to their school to have the Seal of Biliteracy attached. The transcripts would also be updated by the district/school once the proficiency tests have been recorded.
Intent to Participate Form (closed for the year, please contact ADE for assistance)- Must be completed every year your district or school participates in the Seal of Biliteracy.
Reporting Form - Must be completed by September 1st of the following school year.
Alternative Method - contact the Director of K-12 Social Studies and World and Native Langauge at [email protected].