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Seal of Biliteracy

What do you know about the Seal of Biliteracy? Please visit http://sealofbiliteracy.org/ for information about this important initiative.

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The Seal of Biliteracy in Connecticut

Legislation Proposed by the Connecticut State Board of Education to the State Legislature, 2016

What is it?

The Seal of Biliteracy is a seal that would be placed on the high school diplomas of graduates who have demonstrated proficiency in English and at least one other language.  Proficiency refers to the ability to use the language in increasingly complex real-world speaking, listening, reading, and writing situations.  Biliteracy refers to a student’s ability to read and write in those languages at a high level of proficiency, in addition to their speaking and listening skills.  Fourteen states have already adopted a Seal of Biliteracy program and many more are currently considering it.  Go to http://sealofbiliteracy.org/  to learn more.  This document outlines Connecticut’s move toward adopting the Seal of Biliteracy.


Why have it?

The Seal of Biliteracy will:

highlight second language ability as a key 21st Century Skill in college, career, and life.

show universities and potential employers that a student has the ability to effectively communicate with people from two or more languages and cultures, both orally and in writing. 

honor the home languages of English learners (ELs) and motivate them to attain high levels of proficiency in both English and their home languages.

encourage all students to pursue proficiency in at least one language other than their native language.

reward students for their level of proficiency or mastery of a language, rather than focusing on how many years they have studied it.  

focus school districts and teachers on the development of student language proficiency as a driving principle behind high quality EL and world languages curriculum and instruction. 

promote the development of biliteracy, in particular, in which students develop academic reading and writing skills in addition to their speaking and listening skills. 


How will it be measured and awarded?

According to the proposed legislation, “Superintendents will have the option to place this seal on the diploma of an eligible graduate, as determined by criteria established by the State Board of Education, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year to certify a high level of proficiency in multiple languages.” 

While Connecticut guidelines have not yet been established, most states have adopted requirements similar to the following:

o World languages (other than English):  most states have chosen to adopt a level of “Intermediate Mid” or higher on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. These guidelines are the nationally accepted measure of language proficiency requirements for universities and employers. 

o English:  most states use statewide assessments of English language arts (ELA) for English native speakers. For ELs, they use English language proficiency assessments or statewide ELA assessments, if applicable.

There are multiple ways to measure proficiency.  It is essential that the professional organizations for EL teachers and world language teachers in Connecticut are involved in the process of setting the Seal guidelines to ensure that high-quality measures are used that offer ALL students equitable access to the Seal.


How do we make it a reality?

Contact your state legislator to explain the importance of this legislation and urge them to support it.  Find a sample letter at http://ctcolt.org/pages/Seal_of_Biliteracy.asp  

Include a request that the Connecticut EL/WL professional organizations and educators are included in the guideline setting process.

Watch for more details as we move through the legislative process in the months of February and March.


Read the Legislative Proposals as they were adopted by the State Board of Education here (page 23). Click below to read the Legislative Proposals.

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/board/boardmaterials110415/approval_of_legislative_proposals_110415.pdf 

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You may download a copy of the above text at www.ctcolt.org/pdfs/SealofBiliteracyGeneralInformation.pdf.

Let your voice be heard! Download one of the following letters, personalize it and send it to your representative.  

 

 

Our Mission

The Connecticut Council of Language Teachers (CT COLT) promotes, advocates for and fosters the teaching and learning of World Languages and Cultures. We support, guide and connect educators, students, policy makers and the public through professional development, scholarship and collaborative initiatives.

Contact Information


James Wildman

Paul M. St. Louis
275 Cedar Swamp Road, Monson, MA 01057