State Seal of Biliteracy

The State Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.  The Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain, and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices.

The State Commendation toward Biliteracy is a recognition given by a district/school to graduating high school students who have demonstrated significant progress toward achieving a high level of proficiency in English and in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in another language. 

All Illinois public colleges and universities must accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent to two years of foreign language coursework taken during high school for admissions purposes and must also award course credit for the State Seal of Biliteracy based on foreign language course equivalencies.

Earning course credit from the Seal could more quickly put students on track toward a major or minor in that foreign language. Students may be able to earn scholarship money for being biliterate. The Seal is a formal or official way of acknowledging biliteracy on a resume or on professional sites. Many employers seek out or strongly prefer candidates who are biliterate. Earning the Seal could give students an advantage among other applicants in the job market, as well as opening a larger pool of potential jobs or fields to enter. 

Proficiency can be demonstrated through the local assessments listed below. Alternatively, students may earn the Seal or Commendation through the portfolio method.  To qualify for the Seal or Commendation under these circumstances, a student will need to build a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates their proficiency in the language. If a standardized test exists for the target language, then the portfolio method is not allowed.

English Assessments

SAT: 480 ELA Score

ACT: Score of at least 21

Access for ELL Students: 

Targeted World Language Assessment

AP Exam: Spanish, German, French

*Additional languages available upon request. 

AP exams are $96 each. Fee reductions available based on need or hardship

AAPPLL (Spanish, German, French)

If a State Seal of Biliteracy or a State Commendation of Biliteracy is awarded, the student’s diploma will contain the ISBE Seal or Commendation graphic.  Student transcripts will also contain language that shares that the student has attained the State Seal of Biliteracy of the State Commendation toward Biliteracy. The target language will be indicated on both documents.

For more information, please reach out to your counselor to discuss the assessment opportunities to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy.  You may also contact the district State Seal of Biliteracy Coordinator- Rene Hart-