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 Awards (Granted at the end of 5th Grade)

Elementary School: "Bilingual Service and Participation Award"

The intent of the Elementary School “Bilingual Service and Participation Award” (BSPA) is to encourage students along the path of bilingualism, and to place value on the continued use of two languages.

To be awarded at the end of 5th grade

Criteria:

  1. Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local assessments
  2. Be an English Only student, an I-FEP student (Initially Fluent English Proficient) or a Redesignated Fluent English Proficient student (RFEP – i.e. student formerly classified as English learner) or an EL student with English proficiency assessment score (CELDT or ELPAC) which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made
  3. Documentation of 10 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.
  4. Complete one of the portfolio requirements listed below
  • Write two essays, one in English and one in the target second language and receive a score of proficient or higher using the district’s writing rubric:  Prompt #1 in English: Write an opinion essay persuading or explaining why bilingualism is important to you personally, to your community and to the world.  Prompt #2 in the target second language: Write a personal narrative describing how you intend to use your bilingual skills in the future.
  • Create and deliver an oral presentation in the target second language identifying five careers where bilingualism is important and explaining why and how bilingualism is a benefit in those careers. Receive an average score of “3” or above with no more than two areas receiving a score of “2” or below as the criteria for reaching proficiency in SCCOE’s Elementary Pathway Oral Presentation Rubric

Elementary School: "Biliteracy Attainment Award"

This award is designed to measure attainment of age-appropriate biliteracy for students who have been in Two-Way Bilingual Immersion, Dual Language or maintenance bilingual programs.

To be awarded at the end of 5th grade

Criteria:

  1. Earn a score of proficient or higher in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local assessments
  2. Be an English Only student, an I-FEP student (Initially Fluent English Proficient) or a Redesignated Fluent English Proficient student (RFEP – i.e. student formerly classified as English learner) or an EL student with English proficiency assessment score (CELDT or ELPAC) which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English as measured by an approved assessment (LAS, Aprenda, etc.)
  4. Complete BOTH of the portfolio requirements listed below
  • Write two essays, one in English and one in the target second language and receive a score of proficient or higher using the district’s writing rubric:  Prompt #1 in English: Write an opinion essay persuading or explaining why bilingualism is important to you personally, to your community and to the world.  Prompt #2 in the target second language: Write a personal narrative describing how you intend to use your bilingual skills in the future.
  • Create and deliver an oral presentation in the target language identifying five careers where bilingualism is important and explaining why and how bilingualism is a benefit in those careers. Receive an average score of “3” or above with no more than two areas receiving a score of “2” or below as the criteria for reaching proficiency in SCCOE’s Elementary Pathway Oral Presentation Rubric.

Middle School Awards (Granted at the end of 8th grade)

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:

  1. Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local assessments English Only students OR CELDT/ELPAC score which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made  AND
  2. Participate in at least two years of a World Language class or a Native Speakers class with a grade of C/2 or higher OR
  3. Create and deliver an oral presentation in a target language identifying the importance of cultural understanding and explaining why being culturally respectful is a benefit in the 21st Century. The student should be monitored by a teacher or counselor during the process of creating the presentation and must receive “3s” or above in all areas on SCCOE’s Middle School Oral Presentation Rubric

Middle School: "Biliteracy Attainment Award"

This award is designed to set a standard for high level biliteracy attainment for students in a Two-Way Bilingual Immersion or Dual Language program.

To be awarded at the end of 8th grade

 Criteria:

  1. Attain age-appropriate proficiency in English Language Arts on the state testing system or local assessments OR CELDT/ELPAC score which demonstrates appropriate progress is being made AND
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English as measured by an approved assessment OR
  3. Obtain average grades of B/3 or higher in World Language or Native Speakers course
  4. Meet the redesignation criteria for Redesignated Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) for students who are English learners.
  1. Write an essay about one of the two topics below in the target second language and receive a score of proficient or higher using the district’s writing rubric:• Argumentative essay explaining why knowing multiple languages is important.  Personal Narrative describing your participation or your knowledge gained at two cultural events (each one a minimum of one hour) targeting the second language being studied.
  2. Create and deliver an oral presentation in a target language identifying the importance of cultural understanding and explaining why being culturally respectful is a benefit in the 21st Century. The student should be monitored by a teacher or counselor during the process of creating the presentation and must receive “3s” or above in all areas on SCCOE’s Middle School Oral Presentation Rubric.

High School: "Seal of Biliteracy"

English Component

  • 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