Seal of Biliteracy: Purpose
- To enable students to be college, career, and community ready in a global society;
- To establish an educational culture that recognizes and values the wealth of linguistic and cultural diversity students bring to the classroom;
- To support opportunities for the study of and increased proficiency in ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i; and
- To encourage partnerships with institutions of higher education and community organizations to increase access to language instruction in a variety of languages.
Please see Board of Education Policy
105-15, Seal of Biliteracy. Since the institution of the seal, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) has awarded:
- Class of 2017: 37 seals
- Class of 2018: 129 seals
- Class of 2019: 246 seals
- Class of 2020: 361 seals
Applicants must meet the following criteria to receive the Seal of Biliteracy:
- Must be a graduating senior enrolled in a Hawai‘i public or charter school
- Demonstrate a minimum cumulative 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) upon graduation
- Successfully complete courses required for English Language Arts or Hawaiian Language Arts for a high school graduation diploma with a minimum 3.0 GPA upon graduation
- Attain the requisite score for one or more of the following world language requirements:
- ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL): a rating comparable to Intermediate Mid or above
- ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT): a rating comparable to Intermediate Mid or above
- Advanced Placement (AP) language exam: a score of 3 or above
- American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI): a score of 2 or above
- Avant Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) 4S and/or STAMP WorldSpeak (WS) exam: a score of 5 or above
- International Baccalaureate (IB): a score of 4 or above
For a list of available languages for the above assessments, please visit here.
Click the image at right for our Seal of Biliteracy
What is the Seal?
The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) in recognition of students who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in both of the State's two official languages, English and Hawaiian, OR either of the State’s two official languages and at least one additional language, including American Sign Language, by high school graduation.
Why is the Seal of Biliteracy implemented?
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.
Is the Seal of Biliteracy just for English Learners?
No. A Seal of Biliteracy is granted to all students who meet the criteria for the award.
In Hawai‘i, who can apply for and earn the Seal of Biliteracy?
A graduating senior enrolled in a Hawai‘i public or charter school.
If I apply to earn the Hawai’i State Seal of Biliteracy and end up needing to move to another state before graduating, how will Hawai‘i’s requirements translate to other states?
Currently, Hawai‘i’s 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement for English or Hawaiian Language Proficiency (English or Hawaiian Language Arts course requirements), score requirements for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB), and scores on HIDOE-approved language assessments meet or exceed other states’ requirements for the Seal of Biliteracy.
Since Seal of Biliteracy requirements vary from state to state (or in some instances, by school districts), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we may research your particular situations.
Which states have adopted or offer the Seal of Biliteracy?
Visit http://sealofbiliteracy.org/faq#n293 for a current list of states.
Do I need to obtain a 3.0 GPA or higher for both my cumulative GPA and Language Arts courses required for graduation?
Yes. The Hawai‘i State Board of Education has established a Seal of Biliteracy to be awarded upon graduation to students who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in both of the State's two official languages, English and Hawaiian, OR either of the State’s two official languages and at least one additional language, including American Sign Language, by high school graduation.
How can I demonstrate proficiency in ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i?
Candidates can obtain a 3.0 GPA or higher for the Hawaiian Language Arts courses required for graduation or take the Avant Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) WorldSpeak ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i online assessment.
I am not enrolled in an AP course at my school. How can I sign up to take a language assessment for AP?
A Hawai‘i public or charter school student does not need to be enrolled in an AP course at his/her school to sign up for and take an AP world language assessment. If your high school offers AP courses, contact your AP Coordinator to register. Visit https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/home and go to “Taking Exams.”
I took an AP world language exam during my junior year and attained a score of 3.0 or higher. Can I use my AP scores towards meeting the Hawai'i Seal of Biliteracy world language requirement?
Yes. Students who have already taken the AP world language exams in grade 9, 10, and/or 11 and received a score of 3.0 or higher can use the AP scores towards meeting the Hawai‘i State Seal of Biliteracy world language requirement.
AP and IB scores are released during the summer following graduation. How will I know if I was successful in earning the Hawai‘i State Seal of Biliteracy?
OCID will verify in Spring if a candidate has met the GPA eligibility criteria and in Summer if the candidate has met the minimum AP/IB score requirement. Upon verification, OCID will add the Seal of Biliteracy designation to the transcript and send the Seal of Biliteracy certificate and medallion via U.S. mail by the end of July.
Pictured: King Kekaulike High School Sensei Jan Matsushita presents senior Hina Okabe with the Seal of Biliteracy for proficiency in English and Japanese on May 16, 2017.
What new languages are available through the online language assessment?
Thai assessment is now available via the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL). Cantonese assessment is now available via the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT).
If I choose to take the DOE-approved online language assessment to meet the world language requirement, do I arrange on my own to take the assessment?
No. OCID will provide schools and students with log-in to take the online language assessment.
I have studied a world language for four years at my high school and have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in those classes. May I use my course credits to meet the world language assessment requirement for the Hawai‘i State Seal of Biliteracy?
No. In order to earn the Hawai‘i State Seal of Biliteracy, a student must take a world language assessment approved by the HIDOE and meet its designated minimum score requirements. World language assessments will optimally measure a student’s real-world proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
I’ve been accepted to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). How will the College of Arts, Languages & Letters at UHM recognize the HIDOE’s Seal of Biliteracy?
The College of Arts, Languages & Letters at UH-Mānoa values the accomplishments of HIDOE students who have earned the Seal of Biliteracy, and will award credit according to its policies regulating test score equivalencies. The College further encourages students who earn the Seal to consider continuing to develop their proficiency in their additional language through pursuing a major, minor or certificate in a world language in their postsecondary studies.
What resources are available to support the use of language skills in college, career, and community development?
The Hawai‘i Language Roadmap Initiative at UH Mānoa has created resources to support multilingual students with college, career, and community readiness. Please visit http://bit.ly/HLRResources to access the resources.