Maryland Seal of Biliteracy

Fri, 10/23/2020 - 9:14am

What is the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy?

The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL) recognizes students who have attained high levels of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. In the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy is affixed to the qualifying student’s official transcript at graduation, at no cost to the student.
 

What is the purpose of the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy?

High School graduates who can function in two or more languages are equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in college, careers, and a diverse 21st-century society. The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy recognizes and rewards excellence in language learning as measured by rigorous proficiency assessments.


The purpose of the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy is to:

  • Recognize the value of language learning in public schools.
  • Encourage students to attain high proficiency levels in one or more languages in addition to English.
  • Affirm native or heritage languages.
  • Provide employers with a method of identifying individuals with language and biliteracy skills.
  • Provide universities with an additional method to recognize applicants seeking admission/placement.
  • Prepare students with the critical skills necessary to function in a global society.
  • Strengthen cross-cultural communication, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of our communities.

 

Who is eligible for a Maryland Seal of Biliteracy?

To receive a Maryland Seal of Biliteracy, a student must (1.) Satisfy the English graduation requirement (e.g., pass PARCC Grade 10 - English Language Arts), AND (2.) Demonstrate Intermediate High proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a language other than English, as measured by assessments that are aligned to ACTFL proficiency guidelines.

 

How is the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Program expanding in HCPSS this year?

Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, HCPSS will recognize any student who meets the eligibility requirements in English and any one or more of the languages listed on the Maryland State Department of Education’s list of Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Approved Assessments Aligned to ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Please see page 2 for the complete alphabetical list of the languages to be recognized by our program this year.   

 

How do students apply for a Maryland Seal of Biliteracy?

HCPSS students self-enroll in the school system’s Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Canvas course at https://hcpss.instructure.com/enroll/897MGA and complete a two-step application process.

Step 1. Complete the online application form by February 15, 2021.

Step 2. Submit your language proficiency assessment score report(s).

Please direct questions to Kimberly Banks, Coordinator of World Languages, at Kimberly_Banks@hcpss.org. 

 

Language List

This is the alphabetical list of languages included on the Maryland State Department of Education’s list of Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Approved Assessments Aligned to ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines as of October 7, 2020. HCPSS will be accepting Maryland Seal of Biliteracy online student applications for all of these languages, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. 

  • Afrikaans
  • Akan (Twi)
  • Albanian
  • American Sign Language
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Azerbaijani
  • Baluchi
  • Bambara
  • Bengali/Bangla
  • Bosnian/Croatian
  • Bulgarian
  • Burmese
  • Cambodian
  • Cantonese
  • Cape Verdean
  • Cebuano
  • Chavacano
  • Chuukese
  • Chin (Hakha)
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • Egyptian
  • Fante (Akan)
  • Farsi
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Ga
  • Georgian
  • German
  • Greek
  • Greek (Modern)
  • Gujarati
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hausa
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hmong/Mong
  • Hungarian
  • Igbo (Ibo)
  • Ilocano
  • Indonesian
  • Iraqi
  • Italian
  • Jamaican Patois
  • Japanese
  • Javanese
  • Karenni
  • Kashmiri
  • Kazakh
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Korean
  • Kurdish
  • Lao (Laotian)
  • Latin
  • Latvian
  • Levantine
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian
  • Malay
  • Malayalam
  • Marshallese
  • Mongolian
  • Navajo
  • Nepali
  • Norwegian
  • Oromo
  • Pashto
  • Persian Farsi
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Samoan
  • Serbian Croatian
  • Sindhi
  • Sinhala (Sinhalese, Singhalese)
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Tajik
  • Tamil
  • Tausug
  • Telugu
  • Thai
  • Tibetan
  • Tigrinya
  • Turkish
  • Turkmen
  • Twi (Akan)
  • Uighur
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Uzbek
  • Vietnamese
  • Wolof
  • Wu
  • Yoruba
  • Yup’ik
  • OTHER

NOTE: The languages in bold type were the first seven languages to be recognized by the HCPSS Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Program.