Seal of Biliteracy

  • OVERVIEW

     

    The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by the Anchorage School District to qualifying juniors or seniors** in recognition of students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. The Seal also recognizes, supports, and endorses students' first/home languages. The Seal is open to any student in grades 11 or 12 who qualifies, including immersion and non-immersion students, ELL students, and exchange students.The Seal encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain, and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. It takes the form of a seal that appears on the diploma of the graduating senior and is also documented on their official transcript. With no state-adopted Seal at the time, ASD followed national guidance and established a district-sponsored *Seal of Biliteracy in 2016 (see below). 

     

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than sixty-five million U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home—a number that has been growing decade by decade since the 1970s. Nevertheless, that number represents only 20.7 percent of the total population, and only a fraction of this cohort speaks, reads, and comprehends a second language well enough to use it in their everyday lives. The vast majority of American citizens remain monolingual.

     

    While English continues to be the lingua franca for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and politics, teachers, scientists, and community members that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world, nor the needs of individual citizens who interact with other peoples and cultures more than at any other time in human history (Commission on Language Learning, 2017, American Academy of Arts & Sciences). 

     

    ASD juniors/seniors who earn the Seal of Biliteracy receive a qualification email, a certificate signed by the Superintendent, and a bronze lapel pin. A gold seal is placed on the student's diploma and documentation of the Seal, by language, is recorded on the student's official ASD transcript. Please note that if students qualify as a junior, they will receive a qualification email and the designation will be posted to their transcript. However, the certificate, lapel pin, and gold-embossed seal for the diploma will be awarded when they are a senior prior to graduation. 

     

    *In the spring of 2022, the State of Alaska, Department of Education and Early Development, officially adopted the Alaska Seal of Biliteracy as a statewide recognition (4 AAC 06.077), becoming the 49th state to adopt such award. For more information on the national guidance on the Seal of Biliteracy, click here

     

    **Changes as of Spring 2021: Now both juniors and seniors may apply for the Seal of Biliteracy. This will allow students who qualify earlier to include this recognition in their college/university applications. Additionally, approved second language (STAMP, etc.) scores will now be accepted from the student’s sophomore, junior or senior years. Students must indicate which school year they are requesting scores to be from when they complete the application for the Spring 2023 Seal.

     

    2024 APPLICATION - fully online this year (no paper copies)

     

    SPRING 2024 QUALIFICATIONS 

     

    Students must meet the following requirements in order to be awarded the District’s Spring 2023 Seal of Biliteracy:

     

    Student Requirements

     

    To be awarded the Alaska Seal of Biliteracy, a high school junior or senior must meet the following criteria:

    1) Demonstrate proficiency in the English language, and

    2) Demonstrate proficiency in one or more world languages.

     

    English Language Proficiency

     

    Meet statewide minimum graduation requirements in language arts under 4 AAC 06.075 and one of the following:

     

    Method

    Criteria

    Grade Point Average

    2.5 or higher on a scale of 4.0 in English language arts classes

    State Assessment under 4 AAC 06.739

    Proficient or higher in English language arts

    English Language Proficiency Assessment
    under 4 AAC 34.055(c)

    Overall composite score of 4.5 or higher with a score of 3.5 or higher in each testing domain

    ACT
    English Language Arts (ELA)

    Score of 16 or higher

    SAT
    Evidence-based Reading and Writing (EWA)

    Score of 460 or higher

    Workkeys
    Reading for Information and Locating Information

    Score of 4 or higher

     

    World Language Proficiency (scroll down to see table with required scores)

     

    Meet one of the following:

     

    Method

    Criteria

    College Board Advanced Placement

    Score of 3 or higher

    International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard Level Exam

    Score of 5 or higher

    International Baccalaureate (IB) High Level Exam

    Score of 4 or higher

    Other national or international assessments (ASD uses the STAMP 4S or WS assessment)

    Intermediate-mid level or higher based on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines

    Work sample, Body of Evidence or Portfolio
    (For languages that do not have standardized assessment options)

    At a level comparable to Intermediate-mid level or higher based on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines

    Tribal government assessment process

    At a level comparable to Intermediate-mid level or higher based on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines

     

    A student who seeks to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy through a world language that is not characterized by listening, speaking, or reading, or for which there is no written system, shall demonstrate proficiency through assessment on the modalities that characterize communication in that language at a level comparable to intermediate-mid level proficiency or higher, based on the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency guidelines.

     

    ASD only covers the cost of STAMP 4S, STAMP WS (formerly WorldSpeak), STAMP for ASL, and STAMP for Latin.

     

The Seal of Biliteracy is Designed to:

    • encourage students to study languages
    • certify attainment of biliteracy skills
    • recognize the value of diversity
    • provide potential future employers with a a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills
    • provides colleges and universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for attainment of high level skills in multiple languages
    • prepare students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society
    • strengthen intergroup relationships and honor the multiple cultures and languages in a community 

     

    Biliteracy refers to having a functional level of proficiency in each of two or more languages. The level of proficiency is not necessarily identical in each language.

Languages Currently Available

  • Current approved languages for spring 2024 include:

    Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, ASL, Bengali, Cabo Verdean, Chaldean, Chin (Hakha), Chinese (Mandarin), Chuukese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Haitian-Creole, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Ilocano, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latin, Marathi, Marshallese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Somali (Maxaa and Maay Maay), Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog (Filipino), Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yoruba, Yup’ik, and Zomi.

     

    For inquiries about other languages not listed here, please contact Sealofbiliteracy@asdk12.org 

     

     

Application Process

  • seal of biliteracy

     

    “Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are equipped linguistically and culturally to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language, modern or classical. Learners who come from non-English-speaking backgrounds should also have opportunities to develop further proficiencies in their first language.”

     

     -- World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (ACTFL, 2015)

School Contacts

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