What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

by multilingualmania on May 16, 2011

in Language Policy, Literacy and Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy is a special recognition that has been adopted by school districts in an effort to validate and promote biliteracy in English and another language. In response to the veto of similar legislation at the state level, a coalition of language organizations promoted the implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy in school districts throughout California. To date thousands of graduating seniors have been awarded the Seal of Biliteracy in California school districts, and implementation is now spreading to other states throughout the nation.

Minimum guidelines for the Seal of Biliteracy have been established by Californian’s Together, a coalition of language and advocacy organizations. Each school district adopts their own specific criteria that determine who will receive the special recognition of biliteracy. Special recognitions vary from school district to school district, ranging from a multilingual recognition ceremony to a special Seal of Biliteracy being placed on diplomas and student transcripts.

The benefits of implementing the Seal of Biliteracy with graduating seniors are enormous. Implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy promotes the study of foreign languages at the high school level, a requirement for many higher education institutions. In addition, Seal of Biliteracy criteria often require successful passage of an Advanced Placement exam in a language other than English, and students are subsequently awarded university credit for passage of the Advanced Placement test. Recipients of the Seal of Biliteracy also benefit from including the special recognition on their resume as they compete for job opportunities, scholarships, and more.

Additional Resources for Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy:

Sample Criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy Award
The Benefits of the Seal of Biliteracy

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