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Seal of Biliteracy

Last Updated: 9/10/2020 8:28 PM

What is it?

The Georgia Seal of Biliteracy was established in 2016 to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.

 

Why was it established?

The purposes of the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy are as follows:

  1. To encourage pupils to study foreign languages;
  2. To certify attainment of biliteracy;
  3. To provide employers with a method to identify people with language and biliteracy skills;
  4. To provide universities with a method to recognize and give academic credit to applicants seeking admission; and
  5. To recognize and promote foreign language instruction in public schools.

 

How do students qualify?

In order to qualify for the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy, a high school graduate shall meet the following criteria:

 

  1. Completion of all English language arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above in those classes; and
  2. Proficiency in one or more languages other than English, demonstrated by passing a foreign language advanced placement examination with a score of 4 or higher or an international baccalaureate examination with a score of 5 or higher; provided, however, that for languages in which an advanced placement examination is not available, the Department of Education may provide a listing of equivalent summative examinations that local school systems may use in place of such an advanced placement examination.

 

How do students receive their seals?

The Department of Education shall prepare and deliver to participating local school systems an appropriate insignia to be affixed to the diploma or transcript of the pupil indicating that such pupil has been awarded a Georgia Seal of Biliteracy.

 

By May 1 of each school year, senior counselors should contact the Program Specialist for World Languages at GaDOE, Mr. Patrick Wallace, pwallace@doe.k12.ga.us , and request the number of seals required at graduation. The number must match the number indicated in data reporting. For students that take the AP or IB World Language exam in their senior year, please request the Seal by September 1 of the same year that the exam was taken. Seals will be mailed to the school.

 

What is the school responsible for?

Georgia’s Seal of Biliteracy will be awarded upon high school graduation. Schools that wish to award the Seal must

  • ​​designate a contact person at each participating high school that is responsible for
    •  collecting applications from students in their senior year
    • ​checking the qualifications of applicants, and
    • ​awarding qualified students with the Seal
    • ​ reporting students that were awarded the Seal to GaDOE through data collection
  •   The Seal may be added to the high school diploma or transcript as well as displayed on a certificate or medal awarded to the student.
  •  It is suggested that the Seal be noted on the high school transcript as this is the credential that is viewed by colleges and universities and future employers.
  •  Districts and schools are encouraged to make the awarding of Georgia’s Seal of Biliteracy a prominent component at graduation and any senior award ceremonies.

 

Can ASL and Latin students apply for the Seal of Biliteracy as well?

Yes. Due to unique characteristics of certain languages, special allowances will be made: in cases where language assessments across all three modes of communication defined by ACTFL (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational) may not be appropriate or available, the Georgia Department of Education reserves the right to accept a different assessment that meets the spirit of Georgia’s Seal of Biliteracy. Students seeking the Seal through languages not characterized by the use of listening, speaking, reading, or for which there is not a writing system, will demonstrate the expected level of proficiency on an assessment of the modalities that characterize communication in that language.

  • Latin and Classical Greek –assessment of interpretive reading and presentational writing, not of listening or interpersonal face-to-face communication
  • ​​American Sign Language (ASL) –assessment of interpersonal signed exchange, presentational signing, and demonstrating understanding of ASL (such as interpreting a signed lecture or by summarizing and responding to questions aimed at overarching understanding)

 

For more information, please visit the Georgia DOE website. Interested students should find information, including the Seal of Biliteracy application, on the CHS school website, under the World Languages page. All questions can be directed to wendy.drought@cherokeek12.net.