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California State Seal of Biliteracy : The First in the Nation. Shelly Spiegel-Coleman Californians Together California Department of Education EL Accountability and Leadership Conference December 5, 2011. Purpose of today’s session. To encourage implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy

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california state seal of biliteracy the first in the nation

California State Seal of Biliteracy:The First in the Nation

Shelly Spiegel-Coleman

Californians Together

California Department of Education

EL Accountability and Leadership Conference

December 5, 2011

purpose of today s session
Purpose of today’s session
  • To encourage implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy
  • To prepare to design and implement a Seal of Biliteracy and/or pathway awards appropriate to the needs and interest of your local contexts
  • To be familiar with the new State Seal of Biliteracy
workshop agenda
Workshop agenda
  • Background/History/Definition
  • Purpose
  • Pathway Awards
  • Criteria and assessment processes
  • The Award itself
  • Strategy, partners, policy and support
  • Examples – Ideas
  • Resources
a time in history
A time in history…..
  • Era of English-only politics
  • Advent of the 21st century – interconnected, global and diverse
  • Rich language diversity – but language loss
every era has to ask
Every era has to ask……

Are our schools preparing our students for the world they are entering?

Are we teaching and valuing the skills and type of knowledge students will need in order to function, thrive and lead in this era?


“You can tell the values of a society by what it counts. We count what matters to us.”

Albert Schweitzer

Are our schools measuring the outcomes that are important to us?

mastery of two or more languages
Mastery of two or more languages….
  • Cognitive benefits
  • Labor market advantages
  • Live respectfully in a diverse society
  • New relationships and understanding
  • Connection to family and heritage
  • Educational benefits
societal benefits
Societal benefits….
  • Economic benefits
  • Makes cultural life more vibrant
  • National security and international diplomacy
  • Community “bridgers”
isn t english sufficient
Isn’t English sufficient?
  • 6000+ languages in the world
  • 200 nations recognize more than 2 official languages
  • 10 “link” languages of wider communication (Arabic, Bengali, English, French, Hindi, Malay, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish)
in the united states schools produce monolingualism
In the United States, schools produce monolingualism
  • Vast majority of children in the United States will study in only one language – English
  • World language instruction has decreased in past decade
  • Only half of high school students in U.S. take even one year of a world language.
  • Fastest ever rates of language loss
which of the following are present in your school community or district
Which of the following are present in your school, community, or district?"
  • Small numbers or decrease in number of students studying world languages.
  • Small numbers or decrease in English learners receiving bilingual program.
  • Subtractive patterns of language loss: As students become fluent in English, they lose their home language.
  • Attitudes that only English is needed.
a growing movement to encourage celebrate the attainment of biliteracy
A growing movement to encourage, & celebrate the attainment of biliteracy
  • Growth of dual language programs (TWBI)
  • National Education Goals 1994
  • Immersion programs
  • Heritage language programs in schools and community heritage language programs
  • Foreign language/world language programs
  • Extracurricular clubs, travel, etc.
  • Development of the Seal of Biliteracy
student voices
Student Voices
  • Distribute the quotes from the envelopes
  • Each person read their quote without any comments.
  • After everyone has read their quote discuss which messages resonated with you.
what is a seal of biliteracy
What is a SEAL of Biliteracy?

An award granted to high school seniors upon graduation certifying attainment of mastery of two or more languages (one of which is English)……

(includes American Sign Language)

steps for getting started
Steps for getting started
  • Clarify the purpose
  • Determine which awards to give
  • Define the criteria and assessment processes
  • Develop policy
  • Consider strategy, partners and support needed for success
  • Publicize and recruit applicants
  • Design the awards and plan the celebration
san francisco school board resolution
San FranciscoSchool Board Resolution

“Our vision is to prepare students to become global citizens in multilingual/ multicultural world by providing every student the opportunity to graduate proficient in English and at least one other language through participation in a well-articulated PreK-12 world language program.”

los angeles unified school district
Los Angeles Unified School District

Biliteracy awards advance the district’s commitment that every student graduates prepared and equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in college, career, and a diverse 21st century society. Additionally, the awards build upon the rich linguistic and cultural assets of the district and communicate that mastery of two or more languages is an important skill that is advantageous in an ever-shrinking global society.

ysleta texas school district goal statement
Ysleta, Texas School Districtgoal statement

All students who enroll in our schools will graduate from high school fluent in two or more languages and prepared and inspired to be successful in a four year college or university.

why might your school or district want a seal of biliteracy
Why might your school or district want a Seal of Biliteracy?
  • To recognize achievement and hard work
  • To encourage students to study languages
  • To affirm and encourage developing home language
  • To establish the value of bilingualism
  • To protect and/or build language programs
  • To build more respectful inter-group relationships
  • Other
is a seal at graduation enough
Is a SEAL at graduation enough?
  • Created a system of “pathway” awards from preschool through high school recognizing benchmarks towards biliteracy
  • Pathway awards are locally defined, based upon decision-points along the school journey and purpose/need

Where along the pathway of schooling do you think it’s important to assert the value of biliteracy with some kind of award? Why?

california the first in the nation
California – The First in The Nation
  • AB 815 (Brownley) creates the State Seal of Biliteracy
  • Students will be recognized by their districts/county offices and the State.

California Department of Education Contact Person:

Nancy Zarenda,

english criteria state seal of biliteracy
English criteria: State Seal of Biliteracy
  • All ELA requirements for HS diploma with 2.0 GPA
  • Proficient+ on standards test in English in 11th grade
  • If L1 is language other than English, attain early advanced proficiency on CELDT
demonstrated proficiency in languages other than english
Demonstrated proficiency in languages other than English
  • AP score 3+ or IB score or 4+
  • Four years of study in same foreign language with 3.0
  • Pass a district-established foreign language exam at proficient level or higher
  • Pass foreign government’s approved language exam with certificate of competency (not an option for State Seal)
  • SAT II foreign language examination with score of 600+
local assessment components in addition to state seal requirements
Local assessment components in addition to State Seal Requirements
  • On-demand writing with rubric
  • Oral interview with rubric
  • Application
  • Portfolios
  • Logging hours
  • Self-reflection
end of preschool
End of preschool


To encourage enrollment in kindergartens with language programs

To shape initial attitudes

To inform children about language diversity

preschool logging hours self reflection and demonstration
Preschool! (logging hours, self-reflection and demonstration)

Age appropriate oral language skills and vocabulary in the home language

Active engagement with texts

Age appropriate comprehension of home language

Exposure to second language & some ability to reproduce the language and use it for basic

elementary school bilingual service award
Elementary School: Bilingual Service Award
  • Age appropriate oral/listening proficiency in language other than English
  • Age appropriate oral/listening proficiency in English
  • Active use of both languages
  • Log of hours of service using bilingual skills
  • Positive attitudes and understanding of benefits of bilingualism
elementary school biliteracy achievement award
Elementary schoolBiliteracy achievement award
  • Proficient+ on standards based test in English Language Arts
  • Demonstrated proficiency in all four language domains in a language other than English
redwood city celebration based on 2 nd and 3 rd grade scores
Redwood City Celebrationbased on 2nd and 3rd grade scores



Proficient or above in both CST and STS for language arts

Proficient or above in both CST and STS for math

Proficient or above in both CST and STS in BOTH language arts and math

middle school pursuit of bilingualism award
Middle School: Pursuit of Bilingualism Award
  • At least two years of Foreign Language class or Native Speakers class with passing grades
  • Standards test in English at proficient or better
  • Oral presentation about bilingual careers
  • Essay on two cultural events
middle school biliteracy attainment award
Middle School: BiliteracyAttainment Award

Proficient on standards-based test or district assessment in languages other then English

Oral proficiency in language other than English

Average grade of B or above in English classes & World languages/Native language classes

Written and oral presentations about bilingualism or cultural experiences

middle school biliteracy attainment award1
Middle School: BiliteracyAttainment Award

For English learners – redesignation to RFEP

English standards-based test at Proficient+

awarding biliteracy
Awarding Biliteracy

Which of these awards would you like to focus on implementing?

  • Preschool
  • Elementary School: Bilingual Service Award
  • Elementary School: Biliteracy Achievement award
  • Middle School: Pursuit of Bilingualism Award
  • Middle School: Biliteracy Attainment Award
policy making it official
Policy: Making it official….
  • Working committees/Task Forces
  • Board resolution/policy
  • Administrative guidelines tied to existing goals
  • School site program guidelines
  • County or regional office policy
  • State level policy
recruiting students publicizing
Recruiting students/publicizing
  • Importance of application
  • Students need to declare it is important to them
  • Students need to be able to reflect on the value of bilingualism for careers and future
role of teachers administrators counselors
Role of Teachers, Administrators & Counselors
  • Inform students about the opportunity
  • Assist students in determining eligibility
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Serve as an assessor
  • Inform parents
action plan and timeline
Action Plan and Timeline
  • Create the policy and criteria
  • Determine how you will give the award
  • Timeframe for assessments
  • Advertising and outreach to students
  • Assess eligibility
  • Create the awards
  • Get sponsors/partners
  • Design and plan the awards celebration
glendale unified school district s
Glendale Unified School District’s
  • Since 1992
  • Award includes: certificate, medallion, special seal on diploma – and some trophies
  • District developed assessments in 5 languages – other options include: AP exam (3 or better), successful completion of four year course in foreign language; passing score on foreign government’s approved language exam
  • Almost 2,500 students have received the award
los angeles unified school district1

LAUSD Biliteracy Awards

Pathway to Biliteracy Awards (5th and 8th grades)

Seal of Biliteracy Awards (12th grade)

Promote bilingualism and biliteracy as valuable 21st century skills

Statewide movement to promote development of literacy in English and in another language

stanislaus county office of education
Stanislaus County Office of Education
  • Stanislaus County Office of Education, in partnership with participating districts, presents a multilingual seal for placement on a diploma to each high school student who demonstrates proficiency in English and another world or “target” language.
  • To make their own statement of values
  • To encourage and support districts in awarding the SEAL
defining the proficiency level
Defining the proficiency level

Recipients of this award are required to:

  • express themselves with clarity and efficacy orally and in writing
  • submit a portfolio or “LinguaFolio” that demonstrates the ability to prepare short, polished pieces in English
  • provide an on-demand writing sample in the “target” language
  • respond orally in both English and the “target” language in an interview
Resources for the LinguaFolio
  • European Language Portfolio
  • LinguaFolio 5-State Pilot
  • LinguaFolio Nebraska
  • Indiana World Languages site with LinguaFolio links

What is your area of greatest concern with implementing a SEAL of Biliteracy?

  • Getting buy-in to the idea
  • Logistics of getting it started
  • Cost and staffing
  • Other
plan and strategize for success
Plan and strategize for success…..
  • Reflection and discussion: Concerns, barriers
  • Reflection and discussion: supports, opportunities, allies
  • Implications for WHO should be involved in the planning, for which policy bodies should be involved in granting the awards, and for the framing and rationale
the momentum is building
The momentum is building!
  • Endorsements from major educator groups, chambers of commerce and businesses
  • 61 school districts now awarding Seals and/or pathway awards
  • 20 additional districts/county offices in process
  • New state legislation! AB 815 (Brownley) “The State Seal of Biliteracy Program”
  • Webinar on State Seal of Biliteracy – Feb. 15, 2012 –Schools Moving Up – West Ed
californians together
Californians Together
  • 23 Statewide parent, professional and civil rights organizations
  • Focus on improving policy and practice for the education of English learners
  • Keep us informed of your progress in developing and awarding Seals of Biliteracy or pathway awards!

  • Seal of Biliteracy Bulletin
  • Webinar – Implementing Seal of Biliteracy - Schools Moving Up - West Ed – 3/10/11


The world is richer than it is possible to express in any one language.

Ilya Prigogine

Nobel Prize winning scientist

section ii

Section II

Section 2

From Baldwin Park

Students for the 21st century!For more