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New Jersey Student Learning Standards

New Jersey State Seal of Biliteracy

Seal of Biliteracy Overview

I. About the Seal

The Seal of Biliteracy was an initiative started by Californians Together in 2008 to acknowledge and award hardworking bilingual and multilingual students. In 2011, it officially became legislation in California and now multiple states throughout the nation have implemented a statewide Seal of Biliteracy. On January 19, 2016, New Jersey became the 15th state to implement a legislated statewide Seal of Biliteracy. By achieving the Seal of Biliteracy, students demonstrate that they are able to speak, read, listen and write in two or more languages at a high level of proficiency.

II. Purpose

The Seal of Biliteracy seeks to:

  • Encourage students to study languages
  • Certify attainment of biliteracy
  • Provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills
  • Provide universities with a method to recognize and award academic credit to applicants seeking admission
  • Prepare students with 21st century skills
  • Recognize and promote second language instruction in public schools
  • Strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and language of a community
III. Why Seek the Seal

The Seal of Biliteracy opens up a sea of vast opportunities for those pursuing higher education or joining the workforce. As the world increasingly becomes more global, the need for employees with bilingual and multilingual skills has also been increasing.

Employers seek bilingual or multilingual individuals for reasons such as:

  • Accessing expanding markets;
  • Better serving customer needs;
  • Reaching particular and wider ranges of audiences; or
  • Opening a channel of communication with customers.
IV. Requirements

In order for students to be eligible to receive the Seal of Biliteracy, they must meet certain criteria:

  • Students must demonstrate a proficiency level of Intermediate Mid in a World Language.
  • Students must demonstrate proficiency in English by meeting State high school graduation requirements in English or its alternatives, including through State ELA assessments.

Note: See the Testing Criteria section in brochure

V. Testing Criteria

English

  • Proficient or better on the state ELA assessment or its alternatives (in English)

or

  • A score of 4 or better on Tier B or C of the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 in all four language domains (in junior year of high school)

World Language
Intermediate Mid

  • A score of IM on the OPI© and WPT

or

  • A score of 4 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) World Language and Culture exam in junior year

or

or

  • A score of Intermediate Mid (5 or higher) on the STAMP assessment in both Writing/Speaking and Reading/Listening levels

or

or

  • A score of I3 in ALIRA in Latin

or

  • A Score of 3.0 or higher on the ASLPI or Intermediate Plus on the SLPI in American Sign Language

 

Note: Languages for which no language test is available will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy Program in Your District

Participation in the Seal of Biliteracy Program is voluntary and at the discretion of each local school district. School districts that participate may elect to pay the costs of the program or charge a fee to students who participate to cover the costs.

The Commissioner of Education will prepare and deliver to participating school districts the certificate to be awarded to the student. It is the school district's responsibility to ensure that students receive their certificate and have an appropriate insignia affixed to their transcript.

The School District must ensure that all records are appropriately maintained to identify students who have earned the State Seal of Biliteracy.

Seal of Biliteracy Legislation Information

Seal of Biliteracy legislation can be found at the following location:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/PL15/303_.HTM

Special thanks to the New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/New Jersey Bilingual Educators (NJTESOL/NJBE) and the Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ) who originally initiated a Seal of Biliteracy pilot program during the 2013-2014 school year.

For more information and questions, please contact:

New Jersey Department of Education
lep@doe.state.nj.us
worldlang@doe.state.nj.us

New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy

Seal of Biliteracy

The State Seal of Biliteracy was established to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, listening and writing in one or more world languages, in addition to English.