Iowa Seal of Biliteracy
What is the Seal of Biliteracy? The Seal of Biliteracy is an award from a district to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which is English, by high school graduation.
What is Proficiency? The Seal of Biliteracy focuses not on "seat time" or completion of language concepts; it relies on demonstrating proficiency in a given language. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) outlines the meaning of language proficiency, and they use the terms novice, intermediate, advanced, superior and distinguished to indicate levels of proficiency. For the purposes of this seal, a score that mrirors the ACTFL intermediate level is considered proficient.
Why is the Seal of Biliteracy Important? Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. The Seal of Biliteracy:
- Values language as an asset.
- Recognizes the value of language diversity and cultural identity.
- Prepares students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society.
- Provides employers, universities and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to attainment of Biliteracy.
Who is Eligible? Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF475 into law during the 2018 legislative session. the language of the bill is as follows: Sec. 17. Section 256.9, Code 2017, is amended by adding the following new subsection: Develop and administer a Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize students graduating from high school who have demonstrated proficiency in two or more world languages, one of which must be English.
How Do I Apply? Complete an online application. When completing the form list all languages in which you are proficient in the four domains (speaking, reading, writing and listening). Show up for your testing on time at the designated location.
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