In 2015, the State of Illinois began to recognize high school students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English and in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in another language. The recognition consists of a special designation called the Seal of Biliteracy on the student’s transcripts and diploma.
The state’s decision to recognize biliterate students comes from its desire to encourage students to study other languages and cultures and its acknowledgement that the study of other languages and cultures is becoming more valuable in our ever-increasingly connected world.
The path to earning this special designation at MPHS begins with taking the SAT during a student’s junior year. The SAT test results would then be used to demonstrate a student’s proficiency level in English. If a student does not take the SAT during high school, the student may use the results of a standardized assessment meeting the requirements of 1.442 (a) (1) of the Seal of Biliteracy law, including the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Language (AAPPL), TOEIC© or TOEFL© to meet the English proficiency requirements for the Seal. To demonstrate their proficiency in a language other than Spanish, MPHS students will take the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL). To earn the Seal of Biliteracy designation, students must earn a score of intermediate high in reading, writing, listening, and speaking on the AAPPL.
There is no cost to MPHS students to take the SAT exam; however, the cost of taking the AAPPL exam is $20. Students may take the AAPPL exam as early as their junior year. Once students have achieved an intermediate high in any portion of the AAPPL, they neither have to repeat that section, nor do they have to pay for it. Each section retake costs $5. The AAPPL will be given to students in the spring, allowing for enough time for retakes, if necessary.
If a student is interested in being a candidate for the Seal of Biliteracy, they should contact the MPHS Principal (Seal of Biliteracy program coordinator) at 217-792-3209.