What are the seals and certificates?
They are awarded to students who show required language competency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading in languages other than English in grades 10, 11, and 12. The bilingual seals are awarded upon graduation and will appear on one’s transcript. World language proficiency certificates are awarded when students meet the requirements for proficiency.
Why are they a good thing to have?
They are not only an indication of accomplishment but a selling point to future employers and for college admission.
In addition, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities as well as Augsburg, Concordia, and Northwestern University-St. Paul, will award free semester credits to graduating high school students who receive bilingual seals and world language proficiency certificates.
PROFICIENCY CRITERIA IN LISTENING, SPEAKING, READING, AND WRITING
MINNESOTA STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
ACTFL ADVANCED LOW
ACTFL INTERMEDIATE HIGH
ACTFL INTERMEDIATE LOW
WORLD LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY CERTIFICATE
Students must request the college semester credits within three academic years of graduation from high school and upon enrollment in a college or university.
One must also demonstrate mastery of Minnesota’s English language proficiency standards as well as satisfactorily complete all required English language art credits.
Note: The University of Minnesota is not part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
What does it mean to be proficient?
The State of Minnesota uses the ACTFL scale to determine proficiency. Students who obtain the ACTFL Intermediate Low are awarded the World Language Proficiency Certificate. Students who obtain the ACTFL Intermediate High, the Bilingual Gold Seal. Students who obtain the ACTFL Advanced Low, the Bilingual Platinum Seal.
What languages are offered?
The following languages are offered: American Sign Language, Amharic, Arabic, Dakota, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Karen, Korean, Mandarin (Chinese), Ojibwe, Oromo, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese.
What test will I take? How much does it cost?
For Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Chinese), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai you will take the AVANT STAMP4S. Cost: $35.40 per student.
For Dakota, Karen, Ojibwe, and Oromo, you will take the Minnesota Bilingual Seals Assessments through Extempore for speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Cost: $65.50 per student.
For Amharic, Hmong, Somali, and Vietnamese you will take the AVANT STAMP WS for speaking and writing, and the Minnesota Bilingual Seals Assessment through Extempore for reading and listening. Cost: $50.40 per student.
For American Sign Language you will take the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI). Cost: $175 per student.
Am I ready for the spoken language test?
If you are in grades 10, 11, or 12 and can say “yes” to most of these statements, then you are a good candidate to take the proficiency assessment:
I can talk about myself, common activities, school, work, and things that are happening in the community/world in ----.
I can understand most things when I watch or listen to announcements, TVs, radio shows, and videos in ----.
I can read and understand most things when I read posters, flyers, magazines, newspaper articles, books, or stories written in ----.
I can write a letter, text messages, or paragraphs about myself, common activities, school, work, and things that are happening in the community/world in ----.
Am I ready for the sign language test?
If you are in grades 10, 11, or 12 and can say “yes” to one or more of these statements, then you are a good candidate to take the proficiency assessment:
- I can discuss basic social and work topics with responses generally 1 to 3 sentences in length.
- Some knowledge of basic sign language vocabulary.
- Slow to moderate signing rate.
- I can have a generally shared conversation with good, spontaneous elaboration for both social and work topics.
- Broad sign language vocabulary knowledge and clear, accurate production of signs and fingerspelling at normal/near normal rate; occasional mis-productions do not detract from conversational flow.
- Good use of many sign language grammatical features.
How do I register for the test?
Click here to register for the test. Registration must be completed by February 15, 2023.
What are the testing dates and where is the test held?
The spoken language test will take place at Centennial High School. The location of the sign language test is yet to be determined. Test dates and times will be communicated in March to those registered to take the exam.
Here are some frequently asked questions from the Minnesota Department of Education.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact:
Bilingual Seals Program Coordinator
English Learner Coordinator