The State Seal Of Bi-literacy


Students will be able to earn the Biliteracy title when the ACTFL test is taken.

This year, Round Lake High School is providing students with the opportunity to obtain the State Seal of Biliteracy, which recognizes graduating high school students who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in English and in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in another language. Students must take a test created by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).

The test can either be taken in French, Spanish or English since those are the most popular options, although it is also available in other languages. Students can test during the fall (November 5-9) or during the winter (February 4-8). Students test in the library at RLHS during those days.

The State Seal of Biliteracy appears on the student’s high school diploma and is also noted on the student’s transcript. The State Seal Of Biliteracy provides students with tons of opportunities for their future. Students with the seal can find jobs more easily, as being bilingual makes them more marketable. People with knowledge of multiple languages are in high demand, from translating for patients in doctors’ offices and hospitals to communicating with customers in retail stores.

According to the informational packet from the ACTFL , the test is split into four sections: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Each part could take around 30-60 minutes.

“The most time consuming [part of the test] is writing,” said Ms. Elizabeth Franz, RLHS French teacher and foreign language department chair. Franz will conduct the ACTFL test at RLHS. However, some students will be relieved to know that the test does not have a time limit.

When someone enters the ACTFL test, they fall into a spectrum that measures one’s proficiency in the language. The spectrum varies from novice to distinguished, with most students hoping to land somewhere in the intermediate area.

“[ACTFL] is a group of foreign language teachers around the country that’s been in existence for a long time,” said  Franz. “[Members of the council] have all cooperated to come up with ways to measure people’s proficiency in language, and its based on communication, not based on perfect grammar.” 

The State Seal of Biliteracy is an opportunity that should not be ignored. “It indicates to future employers [and] to college [admissions] people that you are literate in more than one language,” said Franz. The State Seal of Biliteracy can come in handy in many ways, from breaking language barriers to everyday communication with people of all backgrounds. The State Seal Of Biliteracy is useful in any environment because it is so versatile. 

According to the ACTFL information packet, there  is a $20 fee to take the test. Students interested can pick up a packet from the counseling office or any World Language Art teacher.