Seal of Biliteracy Updates

Question:I am emailing you in hopes of finding more information about a biliteracy seal that we can give our biliterate students upon reaching their goals in two languages. I teach in a bilingual Spanish/English immersion school in Vancovuer, Washington. We are recently overhauling our program, and would like to include a seal of biliteracy for our 5th graders who achieve this goal upon promotion. Is it true that Washington State has adopted a seal for our seniors? Do you have any suggestions as to where I might look for more information on this? Where might I look to find the already approved seal?

Answer: At OSPI we are working on the State Seal of Biliteracy for the high school diploma. See:
http://www.k12.wa.us/WorldLanguages/SealofBiliteracy.aspx.
California’s Seal of Biliteracy did include provisions for districts to offer some type of recognition for students at a younger level. See: http://www.sealofbiliteracy.org/ They talk about Pathways Awards:
“Pathway awards are most powerful when bestowed at crucial points along the schooling journey where student attitudes about bilingualism may be changing or where students may be facing choices about enrolling in programs and courses that can lead to biliteracy. These points include, for example:

  • As students leave preschool and enter kindergarten (this is the point at which parents make decisions about the elementary school programs for their children)
  • At 3rd grade (this is often when English Learners exit bilingual programs and is a point at which Dual Language Program student enrollment often falls off)
  • Redesignation
  • End of Middle School

Pathway awards may be given in recognition of attainment of an age-appropriate level of skill in mastering two or more languages or in recognition of participation in activities involving bilingualism.”  http://www.sealofbiliteracy.org/seal-program Step 2 (retrieved 8/7/2014)

Best,
Michele
Michele Anciaux Aoki, Ph.D., P.M.P.
World Languages and International Education Program Supervisor
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

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