State Guidelines for Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy

March 10, 2015


The Seal of Biliteracy is an award made by a state department of education or local district to recognize a student who has attained proficiency in English and one or more other world languages by high school graduation. The recognition of attaining biliteracy becomes part of the high school transcript and diploma for these students. The Seal serves to certify attainment of biliteracy for students, employers, and universities. It is a statement of accomplishment that helps to signal evidence of a student's readiness for career and college, and for engagement as a global citizen.

We must acquire the ability to understand and be understood in the languages of the worldwide neighborhood." (World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, 2015)

Knowledge of more than one language and culture is advantageous for all students…Bilingualism is an individual and societal asset." (PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards, TESOL International Association, 2006)

Students' languages and cultures are valuable resources to be tapped and incorporated into schooling." (WIDA Guiding Principles of Language Development, # 1)

Monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st century." (Gregg Roberts, Utah State Office of Education)

Four national organizations collaborated to draft recommendations for the implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy: the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE), the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL), and TESOL International Association. To ensure consistency in the meaning of this recognition, we offer the following guidelines for state departments of education and for local school districts: