Multistate Association for Bilingual Education, Northeast

         A nonprofit organization for educators, families, and policy makers

           (formerly known as Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education)

Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy  

The Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy, overseen by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is an award given to high school seniors upon graduation to recognize students who have attained a “high level of proficiency” in English and at least one foreign language. The official award emblem is affixed to the high school transcript or diploma for these students and certifies their biliteracy for employers and universities. It is a statement of accomplishment that helps to signal evidence of a student's readiness for career and college, and for engaging as a global citizen.

The criterion for earning the MA State Seal of Biliteracy is Intermediate–High, and the criterion for the MA State Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction is Advanced–Low. A complete description of the state awards and procedures can be found in603 CMR 31.07(2) of the state regulations. To qualify for the State Seal of Biliteracy, students must meet all graduation requirements and the English language and foreign language criteria. See criteria in Guidance for Implementing the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy.

Participation in the MA Seal of Biliteracy is voluntary for the district, the school, and the student.

Language Opportunity Coalition Biliteracy Pathway Awards

An award program overseen by the Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) that can be awarded in addition to the official MA State Seal of Biliteracy.

The LOC created a Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL) Workgroup, a strong, enduring collaboration of world language (MaFLA), dual language (MABE), and English language learning (MATSOL) professional teacher organizations and conducted a pilot over three years (2015-2018) before passing legislation to develop a multi-tiered award structure for the SoBL and parameters for implementation in districts in the state.  The pilot involved the cooperation and input of leaders and teachers of all language learning program types and levels; world language, dual language education, transitional bilingual education, immersion, English language education, elementary, middle, high school, and university.

The LOC SoBL Pathway Awards are designed for students and schools who do not meet the state criteria such as:

      School districts that want to award FUNCTIONAL biliteracy at the Intermediate–Mid level of proficiency

      School districts that want to award emerging bilingualism and biliteracy for students at the Novice level of proficiency in elementary school OR for students with disabilities

      Independent schools whose students do not take MCAS

LOC Resources


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