• Facebook
  • OSPI on Twitter
  • OSPI Medium
  • OSPI LinkedIn
  • OSPI YouTube
  • OSPI on Flickr
  • Subscribe to OSPI GovDelivery

You are here

Home » Student Success » Resources by Subject Area » World Languages » Washington State Seal of Biliteracy

Washington State Seal of Biliteracy

​​​​​​​How to Request the Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal is available to districts to formally recognize students that demonstrate:

  • Proficiency in English
  • Proficiency in a world language other than English
  • WAC 392-415-070 Mandatory high school transcript contents
  • WAC 392-410-350 Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy imprint for creating embossed diploma labels or medallions is available on request to worldlanguage@k12.wa.us. If you are a smaller district, WAFLT is currently offering support on acquiring medallions.

The Washington State Seal of Biliteracy (RCW 28A.300.575) recognizes public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English. "Participating school districts with students eligible to receive the Seal, shall place a notation on a student's high school diploma and high school transcript indicating that the student has earned the seal." (RCW 28A.230.125)

Lead with Languages

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) encourages all interested parties to view the Lead with Languages! video and advocate for languages.

Why Speak Another Language?

The 2017 Seal of Biliteracy Legislative Report is available for viewing and downloading.

Note: See how World Language credits and proficiency relate to Career and College Goals.

Orientation to the Seal of Biliteracy

How to Earn the Seal of Biliteracy

Identifying Students for the Seal of Biliteracy

CEDARS Data Manual-The 2019-20 documents provide information in:

  1. CEDARS Manual Student Attributes and Programs File (I) will collect the information for students who have obtained a Seal of Biliteracy.
  2. CEDARS Appendix K-Language Codes contains the list of languages students may earn the Seal of Biliteracy in.
  3. CEDARS Appendix L-Washington State Seal of Biliteracy lists the Assessments that may be utilized to test for biliteracy.

Transcript FAQs

Beginning on page 36:

  • Q65-What is the Seal of Biliteracy? How does a student earn the Seal of Biliteracy?
  • Q66-How does a student earn a "Proficient" designation? When is the "Proficient" designation converted to "Earned?"
  • Q67-Is it possible for a student to earn a Seal of Biliteracy in more than one language?

Click to view a Sample Transcript that has earned the Seal of Biliteracy.

Washington State is one of a growing number of states that have passed a Seal of Biliteracy. OSPI formed a committee of world language stakeholders on September 11, 2014. The committee is diverse geographically, linguistically, and professionally.) The Seal of Biliteracy originated in California and was signed into law in October 2011, with the first seals being issued starting in early 2012. New York State passed its bill and it was signed into law in July 2012. The state of Illinois passed its law in 2013, and a number of other states are also enacting legislation.

Over 40 percent of Washington State jobs are tied to international trade, so it is critical for students to develop proficiency in English and other languages to maintain competitiveness. The bilingual skills of students for whom English is not a first or dominant language represent a tremendous potential resource to the state. Also, English students who follow long sequences of world language study and practice increase their marketability in the workplace. In addition to career advantages, studies also show numerous cognitive benefits for students learning more than one language, including enhanced working memory, attention, flexibility and creative thinking. All of these attributes will be valuable in students' futures.

Foreign Language Enrollments in K-12 Public Schools: Are Students Prepared for a Global Society?

The Seal of Biliteracy Advisory Committee has developed and finalized the language for the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and the identification of resources for school districts.