Seal of Biliteracy

At a Glance

San Mateo County Office of Education, in partnership with participating districts, will implement a progression of Pathway Awards from preschool through middle school recognizing benchmarks towards biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy, which certifies attainment of functional proficiency in two or more languages, will be awarded to qualifying high school seniors upon graduation.

  Rationale and Purpose: Celebrating Biliteracy

  • To recognize and value students' biliteracy skills
  • To encourage students to study languages
  • To encourage family and community support of the development of the home language and the study of additional languages
  • To certify attainment of biliteracy
  • To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community
  • To provide universities with a method to recognize biliteracy
  • To provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills
  • To prepare students with 21st century skills

Awards Continuum

Preschool: "Pathway to Biliteracy Award"

“It is more a participation award than an attainment award.”

                                        Californians Together, The Seal of Biliteracy Program

  • Preschoolers participate in meaningful oral language development experiences in the home language
  • Preschoolers engage with books and print materials in the home language
  • Preschoolers participate in opportunities for developing the ability to communicate in a second language
  • Preschoolers experience enthusiastic support from school staff for their awareness of bilingualism
  • Families are provided with resources to support their children in developing both their home language and a second language at home and at school
  • Families are provided with training opportunities related to the importance of preserving the home language, the value of bilingualism, strategies for supporting a second language, and education program options in the K-12 system

 Elementary School: "Bilingual Service and Participation Award"

 An award that encourages students along the path of bilingualism

 To be awarded at the end of 5th grade

 Criteria:

  • Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local
    assessments OR CELDT score which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made
  • Documentation of bilingual service to the school or the community e.g., serving as a bilingual ambassador for visitors to the school, reading books to preschoolers, etc.
  • Production of a family or cultural project that demonstrates the use of two languages e.g. family interviews

Elementary School: "Biliteracy Attainment Award"

An award designed to celebrate attainment of age-appropriate biliteracy for student

To be awarded at the end of 5th grade 

 Criteria:

  • Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local
    assessments OR CELDT score which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made
  • Demonstration of proficiency in a language other than English as measured by an approved assessment
  • Documentation of ten hours of bilingual service to the school or the community e.g. serving as a bilingual ambassador for visitors to the school, reading books to preschoolers etc.  and
  • An essay written and translated by the student on how becoming biliterate has enhanced his/her life and scored using the approved rubric.

 Middle School: "Pursuit of Bilingualism Award"

An award designed to celebrate engagement in the pursuit of language skills in two or more languages, to affirm positive attitudes towards multilingualism, and to validate use of multiple languages for all students 

To be awarded at the end of 8th grade

 Criteria:

  • Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local
    assessments English Only students OR CELDT score which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made  AND
  • Participation in at least two years of a World Language class or a Native Speakers class with a grade of C/2 or higher OR
  • A personal response essay about two cultural events written and translated by the student and scored using the approved rubric AND
  • Documentation of bilingual service to the school or the community e.g., serving as a bilingual ambassador for visitors to the school, reading books to preschoolers, etc. 

 Middle School: "Biliteracy Attainment Award"

An award designed to celebrate attainment of age-appropriate biliteracy. To be awarded at the end of 8th grade 

 Criteria:

  • Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local
    assessments OR CELDT score which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made
  • Demonstration of proficiency in a language other than English as measured by an approved assessment OR
  • Average grades of B/3 or higher in World Language or Native Speakers course
  • Production of a portfolio to include:
    • Documentation of twenty hours of bilingual service to the school or the community
    • An essay written and translated by the student on how becoming biliterate has enhanced his/her life scored using the approved rubric
    • A five minute oral or DVD presentation on a cultural topic that demonstrates the student's biliteracy, scored using the approved rubric

 High School: "Seal of Biliteracy"

English Component

  • Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local
    assessments  OR   
  • Proficient on ELA CAHSEE  AND
  • 2.0 Grade Point Average in all ELD and/or ELA courses toward graduation

World Language Component

  • Score of 3 or higher on World Language AP Exam OR
  • Score of 4 or higher on IB Exam OR
  • Equivalent Government Test (score to be determined)  OR
  • 4 years of the same language or equivalent with a 3.0 GPA last two semesters     

  RESOURCES