Seal of Biliteracy Awards

seal_41The California advocacy group Californian’s Together has created a brochure for school districts to assist with the implementation of a “seal of biliteracy” for students who have demonstrated achievement in learning two or more language. This seal can be placed on a student’s diploma upon high school, or students can receive a middle school or elementary-level certificate of biliteracy. Individual school districts in California, such as Glendale, Rowland, Ventura, Sweetwater Union, and Eastside Union have already institutionalized a seal of biliteracy in their districts, and now is the time to spread the word in other districts. This is so exciting!

There are various levels of the seal of biliteracy, depending on the criteria that certain districts set:

  • High School: Students can receive a seal of biliteracy on their diploma if they have completed the criteria set for the district. The criteria may include passage of an advanced placement exam in a world language, successful completion of required world language courses, passage on district established assessments, etc.
  • Middle School: There are various levels of awards in the middle school. Students may receive a “Pursuit of Bilingualism Award” or a “Biliteracy Attainment Award” depending on the criteria set by the district.
  • Elementary School: Depending on what type of language program the student is enrolled in at the elementary level, students can receive one of the following awards: “Elementary Bilingual Service and Participation Award” or the “Elementary Biliteracy Award”. Elementary students have to complete a portfolio, which includes: community service hours, written essays, oral presentations, and various other criteria.

This is a really excellent way to promote and recognize bilingualism and multilingualism. You can download a brochure of the steps for implementing the seal of biliteracy here. Please spread the word about this exciting opportunity for students!!

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