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The Seal of Biliteracy is an award granted by the Illinois State Board of Education and given by New Trier High School in recognition and celebration of students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English by the end of their senior year. This credential was first awarded to qualified New Trier graduates beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. Students who earn the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy will have their achievement acknowledged on both their diploma and transcripts.
The Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to those whose proficiency level is equivalent to the Intermediate High scale set by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Learning another language prepares students to be citizens of the global community by developing an awareness and appreciation of other cultures. The process of learning to comprehend, speak, read, and write another language develops insight into the nature of language as well as connections to other disciplines. The Seal of Biliteracy builds upon the rich linguistic and cultural assets of the district and community, providing students with the necessary skills to be successful in college, career, and life. State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Tony Smith, noted, "Multiple language skills are of great benefit in today's global economy and are also very important in our own diverse communities." (ISBE, 6-10-2015) The Illinois State Board of Education and New Trier High School District 203 will recognize the importance of being fluent in more than one language by awarding the Seal of Biliteracy to qualified New Trier students.
According to HB 4330 , Illinois public universities will accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent to two years of foreign language credit if a student's high school transcript indicates that he or she received the State Seal of Biliteracy. View University of Illinois Champaign - Urbana for reference .
To qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy, seniors must:
Visit the ISBE webpage for the official list of assessments.
What is the Seal of Biliteracy?
The Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy is an award granted by the Illinois State Board of Education to students of modern languages who have attained a high level of proficiency (Intermediate-High) in the four domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing in English and one or more other languages by their high school graduation. Latin students earn the award by demonstrating proficiency in reading. The Seal indicates that the student can perform at a high level of proficiency, sufficient for "meaningful use in college and a career." Intermediate High speakers are able to converse with ease and confidence when dealing with routine tasks and social situations. They are able to handle successfully uncomplicated tasks and social situations requiring an exchange of basic information related to their work, school, recreation, particular interests, and areas of competence. Intermediate High speakers can narrate and describe in all major time frames using connected discourse of paragraph length, but not all the time. Intermediate High speakers can generally be understood by native speakers unaccustomed to dealing with non-natives although interference from another language may be evident (e.g., use of code switching, false cognates, and literal translations), and a pattern of gaps in communication may occur.
Who is eligible for the Seal of Biliteracy?
All students are eligible to demonstrate proficiency in English and one or more other languages through this program, but awards are only made to seniors. It is recommended that students wait until second semester of their senior year to be assessed.
How do I earn the Seal?
If you are a students of a modern language, you must show proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing on a state-approved assessment. If you study Latin, you must demonstrate proficiency in reading on a state-approved assessment. After New Trier obtains your results, you will be informed of the award. If you have questions, contact Judith Baiocchi in the Modern and Classical Languages Department.
How do I demonstrate proficiency in all four language domains?
You take a state-approved assessment at New Trier to demonstrate proficiency. Please refer to the Testing Schedule for dates and times.
To earn the Seal of Biliteracy , students also need to demonstrate proficiency at the Intermediate High level in all four domains in English and one or more other languages.
Can I earn the Seal in English and multiple other languages?
Yes, you can apply for the Seal in all languages in which you are literate in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Can I be assessed for the Seal before my senior year?
Yes, you can take the assessments to earn the Seal any time during your high school career, however priority is given to seniors. Students who earn the Seal prior to senior year will have the designation applied to their transcript upon receipt. Students will receive the award at the time of their high school graduation when it will be acknowledged on their diploma and official transcripts. It is recommended that you wait until second semester of your senior year to apply.
Can I still earn the Seal if the results of the assessment are not available at the time of graduation?
Yes. If the results of an approved language assessment are not available at the time of graduation (AP exam results from May, for example), New Trier will award the Seal after graduation when results are available. However, no official designation will be included on the transcript or diploma until the school receives the assessment results indicating that you qualify for the Seal.
Testing is limited to 60 students in the morning session and 60 students in the afternoon session.
Testing is limited to 60 students for the morning session and 60 students for the afternoon session. Registration closes on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.
For more information about the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy at New Trier High School, please visit the school website or contact Judith Baiocchi in the Modern and Classical Languages Department.