What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

The Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL) is an award that recognize students who have achieved proficiency in English as well as one or more additional languages, whether it be a native language, a heritage language, or an additional language learned in school or in another setting. It is a statement of accomplishment that helps to signal evidence of a student’s readiness for career and college, and to engage as a global citizen.

There are two types of awards available in Massachusetts:

The Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy was established under the LOOK Act of 2017 and can be awarded to graduating high school seniors. It is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. See DESE Seal of Biliteracy webpage for criteria and regulations. See also this clarification from DESE about the 2019 NextGen MCAS criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy.

The Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Biliteracy Pathway Awards are designed to encourage long-term language study for students PK-12 by recognizing students at different grade and language proficiency levels. These awards were originally developed during the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot from 2014-18, and the LOC is continuing to support them as an option in addition to the state award.

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