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.
School Districts and 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.
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 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 a 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 towards 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 to the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute School of Language Studies.
Categories of Languages
Participation in the Seal of Biliteracy Program
Eligibility for the State Seal of Biliteracy
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.
ELA Assessment Method: To demonstrate English language proficiency through the assessment method, the student must attain the required score on an English language menu of assessments as adopted by the State Board of Education.
If the student has a primary home language other than English, the student shall obtain a score of proficient based on the AZELLA.
Students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language through an assessment method 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 foreign language.
Evaluating the language proficiency of a student with disabilities for whom the standardized assessment is inappropriate.
The standardized assessment for the targeted foreign language does not assess one or more of the four domains of speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
Every year school districts and 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.
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
Districts/schools must make available to parents and students information regarding the Program
Attain a score of 230 or higher
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
Attain a score of Meets Expectations
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
ACTFL Assessment of Performance Towards Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL):
Attain a score of Intermediate Three for category I through III languages
Attain a score of Intermediate Two in writing and reading and Intermediate Three in speaking and listening for category IV languages
ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA):
Attain a score of Intermediate Three
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 Three or higher on the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)
Avant STAMP 4S
Attain a score of Five for category I through III languages
Attain a score of Four in writing and reading and a Five 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 the average score of 60 percent on all four portions
Attain a score of B1 or higher
Attain a score of four or higher for Higher-Level (HL) language classes and five or higher for Standard-Level (SL) language classes on an International Baccalaureate examination for the world and native language(s)