Steps to Implement the Seal of Biliteracy
The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, school district or county office of education in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. The Seal of Biliteracy takes the form of a seal that appears on the transcript or diploma of the graduating senior and is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions. In addition to the Seal of Biliteracy that marks attainment of high level mastery or two or more languages, schools and districts are also instituting Bilingual Pathway Awards, recognizing significant steps towards developing biliteracy along a student's trajectory from preschool into high school.
The purposes for instituting the Seal of Biliteracy and the Pathways to Biliteracy Awards are numerous:
- To encourage students to study languages
- To certify attainment of biliteracy skills
- To recognize the value of language diversity
- To provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills
- To provide universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for attainment of high level skills in multiple languages
- To prepare students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society
- To strengthen intergroup relationships and honor the multiple cultures and languages in a community.
There are six steps to take towards implementing a Seal of Biliteracy effort:
- Clarify the Purpose(s) and Rationale
- Determine the Level of Pathway Awards to Be Granted
- Define the Criteria for Granting the Awards
- Develop Outreach Strategies and an Application Process
- Design the Award and the Process for Award Presentation
- Seek Endorsements! Spread the Word!