WHS students can take a bite out of this AAPPL

Seal of Biliteracy available to Watertown High students for first time through free exam

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WHS students can take a bite out of this AAPPL

Raider Times photo / Raider Times staff

Raider Times photo / Raider Times staff

Raider Times photo / Raider Times staff

Raider Times staff

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Are you fluent?

Prove it!

These words have been hung up on posters in the halls of Watertown High School for the first two weeks of school advertising the Seal of Biliteracy, which can be earned by students for the first time this school year to show their proficiency in more than one language. 

The Seal of Biliteracy will go to juniors and seniors who achieve a high level of language abilities, as assessed by the AAPPL exam. Students who pass will be honored for being bilingual with a seal on their transcripts and diplomas, and they will be honored at graduation. Applications are due Dec. 2, and the test will be given in March.

Raider Times photo / Raider Times staff
Adam Silverberg, world language coordinator for the Watertown schools, talks with student reporters about the new bilingual literacy certificate test being offered at WHS during his visit to the Raider Times newsroom Sept. 10, 2019.

Approximately 50 languages are spoken at home by Watertown students, with the top two being Portuguese and Spanish, followed by Armenian and Pushto/Eastern Pashto.

When asked about a goal for the amount of students to take and pass the test, Adam Silverberg said, “Ten kids seems like an achievable goal for this year. I’m not sure how difficult or easy the test will be.”

Mr. Silverberg is the world language coordinator in Watertown, in charge of the language programs at all five schools. In his six years in Watertown, students may have seen him observing a world language class or he may have been their Spanish teacher.

Mr.Silverberg said he would’ve enjoyed having taken the test when he went to school.

“It would’ve been great!” he said.

The languages that can be tested by the AAPPL test are Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. For other languages, students must see Mr. Silverberg.

In order to pass the AAPPL exam, students must be able to read, write, speak, and listen in the world language being tested. Mr. Silverberg also said that students must get at least a 240 on their English MCAS and Intermediate High in a second language.

The Seal of Biliteracy is part of a state initiative. The AAPPL test is free for students to take this year, the $20 cost is being paid for by WHS. The Seal of Biliteracy is being offered through the Watertown’s world language, ESL, and guidance departments.

For more information or to pick up an application, reach out to Mr. Silverberg or visit his office in room 331 at WHS. To see an AAPPL demo, go to  https://www.languagetesting.com/aappl2-demo.

(Story was written and reported by Aaliyah Inkiala, Casey Master, Eleni Hum, Fathema Heidari, Gabriela Bondaryk, Henry Broadstone, Karen Guler, Kat Fristrom, Liam Connolly, Mariana Urizar, Selina Nebiye, and Tino Themelis of the Raider Times staff.)

Raider Times photo / Raider Times staff
Adam Silverberg, world language coordinator for the Watertown schools, talks with student reporters about the new bilingual literacy certificate test being offered at WHS during his visit to the Raider Times newsroom Sept. 10, 2019.

–Sept. 12, 2019–

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