The Seal of Biliteracy is celebrating a well-deserved fifteenth anniversary this year. The seal, which recognizes students who have attained biliteracy, has been adopted by forty-nine US states and thousands of schools and school districts.
The seal was established in 2008 by Californians Together, a coalition of advocates committed to improving education for English language learners and to improving biliteracy policy and practice. The seal encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills students attain, and demonstrates skills that are attractive to college admissions counselors and prospective employers.
Seals of Biliteracy are awarded by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained certain levels of proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Those languages are standard academic English and any other language, including American Sign Language. Proficiency levels are set by individual states.
Over the years, the Seal of Biliteracy effort has worked with states and school districts to develop and implement the program. The initiative has rapidly expanded as a grassroots movement. Today, only one state—South Dakota—has yet to fully adopt the program.
For more information, visit the Seal of Biliteracy homepage. In addition, some states and school districts have webpages regarding their programs. Explore Vista programs and resources available to you by funding type.
By Jay A. Diskey
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