World Language Proficiency Certificates and Bilingual/Multilingual Seals

Are you proficient in a language other than English? If you are, you may be eligible to earn college credits and receive a World Language Proficiency Certificate or a Bilingual or Multilingual Seal on your Hopkins High School transcript when you graduate. Whether you have learned to speak another language in school or elsewhere, the Minnesota Department of Education has established a system for recognizing high school students for their language proficiency. Read our FAQ to learn more!

How did this come about?

The Minnesota legislature passed Statute 120B.022 subd. 1b, which states that school districts in Minnesota may award bilingual or multilingual seals and world language proficiency certificates to graduating high school students who demonstrate certain levels of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a language other than English as measured by an approved language proficiency assessment.

What are the benefits of earning a World Language Proficiency Certificate or Bilingual/Multilingual Seal?

  • Recognition

You have worked hard to develop a high level of proficiency in another language. This is your opportunity to highlight that accomplishment on your high school transcript. Earning a World Language Proficiency Certificate or adding a Bilingual/Multilingual Seal to your transcript shows colleges/universities and employers that you are proficient in a language (or languages) in addition to English. Because the assessments used to measure proficiency are based on the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning, the scores can be interpreted in a uniform way across institutions.

  • Earn college/university credits

You can earn free college credits from 30 colleges and 7 universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system by taking an approved proficiency assessment during grades 10-12 and demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English. You must request credits within three academic years of high school graduation and upon enrollment in a Minnesota State college or university. Credits are awarded as follows:

World Language Proficiency Certificate: 2 semesters of college language credit
Gold Bilingual or Multilingual Seal: 3 semesters of college language credit per language
Platinum Bilingual or Multilingual Seal: 4 semesters of college language credit per language

Colleges outside of the Minnesota State College and Universities system (e.g., the University of Minnesota, private colleges, and institutions in other States) will use their own institution’s criteria for awarding credits for proficiency seals.

How can I earn a World Language Proficiency Certificate or Bilingual/Multilingual Seal?

You will need to complete one of the qualifying assessments and receive a score that meets the criteria for a certificate or a seal, as shown in the chart below.

Students must also successfully complete all English Language Arts credits required for high school graduation and demonstrate mastery of Minnesota’s English language proficiency standards.

 Proficiency Level RequiredQualifying Proficiency Assessments and ScoresAward TypeMinnesota State College and University Credits
World Language Proficiency CertificateIntermediate-Low in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening

AAPPL [Intermediate 1]

AP Language Exam [Score of 3]
Paper certificate [for assessment taken in grades 9-12]

2 semesters of credit


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]
Bilingual Gold SealIntermediate-High in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening

AAPPL [Intermediate 5]

AP Language Exam [Score of 4]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


3 semesters of credit


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


Bilingual Platinum SealAdvanced-Low in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening

AAPPL [Advanced]

AP Language Exam [Score of 5]

HSK 4 [passing scores in listening, reading, writing] + AAPPL for speaking [Advanced]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


4 semesters of credit


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


Multilingual Gold SealIntermediate-High in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening in 2 languages other than English

AAPPL [Intermediate 5]

AP Language Exam [Score of 4]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


3 semesters of credit in each language


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


Multilingual Platinum SealAdvanced-Low in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening in 2 languages other than English

AAPPL [Advanced]

AP Language Exam [Score of 5]

HSK 4 [passing scores in listening, reading, writing] + AAPPL for speaking [Advanced]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


4 semesters of credit in each language


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


What languages are currently available for assessment?

Hopkins offers the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Chinese, Spanish, French and German. Students in the Juntos Spanish Immersion program or the XinXing Chinese Immersion program take the AP language exam in grade 9.

We can assess students in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Italian, Japanese and Thai using the AAPPLAssessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages. Students may register to take the AAPPL in the spring of their senior year. The assessment is offered during the school day.

XinXing@HHS students may also qualify for an award by taking the HSK-4 Chinese proficiency assessment in grade 10. The level of award will be based on the higher of the two scores:  HSK or AP. The HSK-4 only measures 3 of the required skills: Listening, reading and writing. Students would also need to take the AAPPL to evaluate their speaking.

The Minnesota Department of Education is working in collaboration with ACTFL and local school districts to develop assessments for Somali, Hmong, Karen, Ojibwe, Tamil, and Oromo that will be available to Hopkins seniors in Spring 2020.

For all languages, students must demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking in order to be eligible to receive a world language proficiency certificate or a bilingual/multilingual seal.

What if I took the AP exam in grade 9 as part of my Juntos or XinXing immersion program?

If you took the AP language exam as part of your 9th grade Juntos or XinXing immersion class, you will be recognized for this accomplishment by receiving a World Language Proficiency Certificate for an AP score of 3, a Bilingual Gold Seal on your transcript for an AP score of 4, or a Bilingual Platinum Seal on your transcript for an AP score of 5 upon graduation from Hopkins High School. You will not be eligible to receive credits at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities based on an AP exam taken in grade 9; credits are only awarded at these colleges and universities for assessments taken during grades 10-12. However, AP credits are accepted by many other colleges and universities. In addition, if you continue on the immersion track, you will be taking University of Minnesota College in the Schools language courses, which will earn 4-5 U of M credits each that can be used at the University of Minnesota or may be transferred to other colleges and universities in Minnesota or to colleges and universities in other States.

What if I am taking College in the Schools courses? Will I need to take an assessment to earn a certificate or seal?

Yes, a separate assessment will be required if you are a College in the Schools student and you want to earn a certificate or seal on your transcript. The University of Minnesota College in the Schools courses do not include one of the State of Minnesota’s qualifying language proficiency assessments. However, you may choose to take the AAPPL assessment or AP language exam in the Spring of your senior year to demonstrate your language proficiency level and earn a certificate or seal. Whether or not you choose to take an assessment to earn a certificate or seal, you will earn 4-5 U of M credits for each College in the Schools course that you complete. Those credits can be used at the U of M or may be transferred to other colleges and universities in Minnesota or to colleges and universities in other States.

How do I know if I am ready to take an assessment?

Take a look at the Can-Do Proficiency Benchmarks developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages to see what you need to be able to do at each level of language proficiency. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the intermediate or advanced proficiency levels to see details of required skills in each mode of communication.

How much does the assessment cost?

The AAPPL and HSK [Chinese only] are available at no cost to students. The cost for AP exams is the responsibility of the student.

When can I take the assessment?

AP and HSK exams are offered every Spring. Students may register to take the AAPPL in the spring of their senior year. The assessment is offered during the school day.

This year's AAPPL assessments will take place on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at Hopkins High School.
For more information, contact Molly Wieland, World Language and Immersion Coordinator:  molly.wieland@hopkinsschools.org