THE SEAL OF BILITERACY AWARD
"The Seal of Biliteracy is an accolade presented by a school, district or county office of education to recognize a student who has demonstrated proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.
The seal encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. The seal is only presented to students who have graduated high school, as it is affixed to their diploma.
Numerous benefits are inherent in developing a Seal of Biliteracy: recognizing the value of language diversity, preparing high school graduates for a 21st century world and workplace and taking an asset-based view of non-native English students' native languages, cultures and heritage."
National Conference of State Legislatures
The Seal of Biliteracy is currently awarded in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Though best practices are shared across the country, each state, district, or school may choose to implement the program slightly differently. The Seal of Biliteracy is open to all students, including English Language Learners, who are able to demonstrate proficiency in two or more languages by or during their senior year.
The Tennessee Board of Education passed a Seal of Biliteracy Policy in the 2018 school year, which specifies award criteria for schools and districts. The Volunteer State Seal of Biliteracy ensures that all our work is in accordance with state policy, while working to build on the best practices of Seal of Biliteracy programs from across the nation.
Our work seeks to ensure that every Tennessee student has the means and opportunity to receive a Seal of Biliteracy award upon high school graduation and to close the gaps in awareness, funding, and language assessment equity that inhibit the growth of the program throughout our state.