Seal of Biliteracy Helps Bilingual Students Get Ahead


Have you ever thought about getting a seal to confirm you’re bilingual?

Our school is now offering that opportunity. The Seal of Biliteracy is a nation-wide test that measures students’ proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in another language.

The Seal of Biliteracy gives students an advantage when they apply for college and it provides them with a competitive edge in the employment market.

The program was developed in 2008, and was piloted at West Haven High School last year, when Kim Athan, the world language department head, came to this school.

“Last year there was a big success rate, our students took most of them in Spanish, and they were native or heritage speakers and then a couple of them came very close to passing even in Italian,” said Anna Porto, an Italian teacher at West Haven High School.

To get enrolled in this program you have to take a language class at our school, for example: Spanish, Italian or French, or if you are a native heritage speaker to many other languages.

“Definitely do it, be confident in the way you speak, be proud of the language you speak,” said Lorena Bello, a student who achieved the seal in 2022. “And it’s a great opportunity, you will get so many doors open for you,”

The Seal of Biliteracy is offered to students of any age, but our school is only testing seniors.  The reason our school only tests seniors is because in order to get the Seal, they must pass all English graduation requirements as well. The test is free and can be taken multiple times.

“It gives me the confidence to know that I can speak both languages very well,” said Sara Sanchez, a student who achieved the seal in 2022. “I think that’s something to be very proud of.”

To know more about this program, students can stop by D307 or join the Google classroom: 3bjobsn

This seal includes two types of tests: the AAPPL test, which is an assessment of standards-based language learning across the three modes of communication interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational, and the OPI test, which assesses how well a person speaks a language.

Here is the list for some of the languages to the AAPPL test:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese(Mandarin)
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


Now here is the list for some of the languages to the OPI test:

  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Bengali/Bangla
  • Bosnian/Croatian
  • Cantonese
  • Dari
  • Gujarati
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Malayalam
  • Pashto
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Swahili
  • Tamil
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Yoruba