You may have heard of the Seal of Biliteracy, an award that is currently given to high school seniors in 40 states. It honors second language proficiency along with heritage or English language proficiency. For the past two years, some schools in Vermont have been awarding this award under the guidance of the Vermont Foreign Language Association (VFLA). As well, the VFLA has been advocating and meeting with the AOE to get it established as an official award in our state. Just before Christmas, Secretary Dan French approved this award for Vermont students. It will become official once it is on the website of the AOE, hopefully this spring! This award honors students who study a world language in school and achieve proficiency levels of Intermediate Mid and above on the ACTFL scale, as well as ELL students who achieve a similar score via the WIDA test or other acceptable measure. There are various ways to demonstrate proficiency, including testing and portfolios.
I am glad to answer questions, set up a virtual meeting, and otherwise encourage you to get started. The Seal of Biliteracy is the only award recognized by the AOE for graduating seniors and certainly will help advocate for world language programs across our state. My email is email@example.com, feel free to get in touch.
The Seal of Biliteracy was awarded
to fourteen Vermont High School seniors!
The Seal of Biliteracy offers students a purpose in second language study because by achieving proficiency, they will receive recognition that is useful for college applications as well as employment opportunities. It does not denote fluency, it denotes proficiency. It means that a person can communicate with a high degree of comprehension in both speaking and writing, as well as in understanding and reading. This past year 14 students in Vermont received the Seal of Biliteracy. We anticipate many more students becoming eligible this year as 3 large districts in Chittenden County alone hope to implement the Seal (Burlington, South Burlington and Essex), along with many other schools. Most exciting is that it also extends to non-native English speakers who are fluent in their native language, and hopefully by graduation will be proficient in English, thereby qualifying for the Seal.
The VFLA will supply the Seals for you to award. It consists of a medallion on a lanyard. We will also supply you with start up documents and a "road map" for what is needed We will add you to an email group of collaborators and support you all the way!
Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be back in touch with you and add you to the group! Now is the time to start planning!