Seal of Biliteracy for Tamil in the State of Maryland – FAQ

Maryland adopted Biliteracy on 26-Apr-2016 (Ref: Maryland State Senate Bill 781). The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by participating school systems that recognizes a student’s high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages other than English.

The Seal of Biliteracy takes the form of a seal that appears on the transcript or diploma of the graduating senior and is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions. In addition to the Seal of Biliteracy that marks attainment of high level mastery in two or more languages, schools and districts are also instituting Bilingual Pathway Awards, recognizing significant steps towards developing Biliteracy along a student’s trajectory from preschool into high school.


High school graduates who can function in two or more languages are equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in college, careers, and a diverse 21st century society. The Maryland State Seal of Biliteracy is established to recognize and reward excellence in language learning as measured by rigorous proficiency assessments. 

The purpose of the State Seal of Biliteracy is to:

  • Recognize the value of language learning in public schools.
  • Encourage students to attain high proficiency levels in one or more languages in addition to English.
  • Affirm native or heritage languages.
  • Provide employers with a method of identifying individuals with language and Biliteracy skills.
  • Provide universities with an additional method to recognize applicants seeking admission/placement.
  • Prepare students with the critical skills necessary to function in a global society.
  • Strengthen cross cultural communication, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of our communities.

Eligibility Criteria & Steps to meet them:

To receive a Maryland Seal of Biliteracy, a student must:

  1. Pass the Maryland High School Assessment in English – PARRC English 10 (Meet the assessment requirement as set forth in COMAR 13A.03.02.09 on the Maryland High School English Language Arts/Literacy assessment) ; AND
  2. Demonstrate Intermediate to High proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Tamil. Students can achieve the same by doing the following two parts.

Part 1 – Testing Listening & Speaking:

Pass the Oral Proficiency Assessments by ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). Students need to take Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) by LTI (Language Testing International is the exclusive licensee of ACTFL Assessments).

  • It is an unscripted, approximately, 15-30 minutes conversation over the phone with a Certified ACTFL Tester.
  • The cost for ACTFL OPI is $159.00 it will approximately last for 30 minutes.

Part 2 – Reading & Writing:

  • Reading/Writing Assessment by Tamil Virtual Academy (by Tamil Nadu State Government, India)
  • Passing Higher Certificate exam HG10
  • Cost of the exam – $15 (+ any additional registration fee during registration/exam scheduling)
  • The Examination will have two components
    (Click HERE visit the actual link)

TVA Exam Timeline:

Exam window 1 :

Between November and December; Application needs to be submitted & exam needs to be scheduled with TVA in the month of September.

Exam window 2:

Between May and June; Application needs to be submitted & exam needs to be scheduled with TVA in the month of March.

For Further Reading/ References:

MD Biliteracy FAQ:
Approved Assesments – Search for TVA in this document

Seal of Biliteracy info at MCPS:

Regarding OPI Test:

Regarding TVA and Higher Certificate HG10 Course info:
Higher Certificate HG10 Syllabus – HG10 : நிலை – 1
Interactive HG10 Course link
Higher Certificate HG10 Course Material
Higher Certificate HG10 – Exam Details
TVA Exam Fee Details