The “Seal of Biliteracy” in Schools Across the Country 

Graduates throwing caps in the airAcross the country, more schools are embracing fluency in multiple languages by offering a special award called the “Seal of Biliteracy” that can be earned by bilingual students.

Earning the Seal of Biliteracy

The first program began in California in 2010 to showcase biliteracy as an asset. The Seal of Biliteracy helps to elevate language programs in our schools, and gives students a new goal to work toward.

More than two dozen states now offer a state- or district-wide Seal of Biliteracy award to high school graduates who demonstrate that they can speak, read and write in more than one language. 

The purpose of the seal is to recognize the hard work of becoming biliterate. Offering the seal also sends a message about the value of maintaining native languages, and the importance of language learning.

Once earned, the seal appears on a student’s diploma and/or transcript, or as a special certificate. In some states, students can also earn “pathway awards” as they journey toward earning the seal.

In the long-term, students who have earned the seal are more attractive to colleges and employers, which leads to greater earning potential over their lifetimes.

Are you looking for a special gift for someone earning a Seal of Biliteracy? Read our previous post to learn about some unique gifts for bilingual students.

“goodbye” by Jessie Jacobson via Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/6uZfvq

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