The Seal of Biliteracy

ALTA Language Services provides language proficiency testing to High School students in more than 90 languages, including low-density languages that are often unavailable from other providers. This testing is done in conjunction with school districts throughout the United States to recognize the achievements of students who are fluent in more than one language.

The Seal of Biliteracy is a credential awarded to students who demonstrate, through a variety of requirements, including language testing, proficiency in two or more languages by the time of high school graduation. So far 35 states have adopted the Seal of Biliteracy since its inception in 2011, and that number continues to increase each year. The Seal of Biliteracy may help students obtain college credit in the tested language and may also be used as evidence of a language skill for potential employers after graduation. The credential typically appears as a seal on the diploma or transcript of the graduating student.

ALTA’s Tests

ALTA partners with hundreds of school districts across the country to verify language skills of students seeking the Seal of Biliteracy. Results for these tests are provided on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Scale.

ALTA provides two types of tests:

Oral Proficiency: This test is designed to assess a student’s speaking and listening skills. The test is conducted over the phone between an evaluator and student, wherein the evaluator will ask a variety of open-ended questions designed to prompt the student to use the language in a variety of ways. This test lasts approximately 15 – 25 minutes.

Writing Proficiency: This test is designed to assess a student’s ability to write in a given language. The student must also demonstrate the necessary reading skills to process and respond to written questions. Students must answer five questions, typically with at least 100 words per answer, and the test will take up to one hour to complete. This is a paper test, typically administered directly by the school.

To see if your state participates in the Seal of Biliteracy, along with the specific requirements of your state, check here. If your state participates in the Seal of Biliteracy and you are interested in working with ALTA to provide language proficiency testing for your school district, please contact us today by calling 1-888-624-6165 or emailing [email protected].

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