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.  

LEVELS OF AWARD

Oxford Caps

THE SEAL OF BILITERACY PATHWAY AWARD

FOR GRADUATING 8TH GRADERS

pilot program beginning 2020-2021

English Language Criteria (must meet one):

  • Receive an 85 or higher in their 8th grade ELA or ELD course for Semester 1

  • Score "On Track" or higher on the 7th grade TN Ready ELA Assessment

  • Score 3.2 or higher, composite, on the WIDA in 7th grade, if an ELL

World Language Criteria (must meet one): 

  • Receive an 85 or higher in an 8th grade World Language course

  • Score Intermediate-Low or higher on an ACTFL-aligned World Language Assessment

Written Response: 

In 250-500, respond to one of the following prompts

  • What biliteracy means to me

  • Why learning a second language is important

Oxford Caps

THE SEAL OF BILITERACY AWARD

FOR GRADUATING 12TH GRADERS

English Language Criteria (must meet one):

  • Score of 'On Track' or higher on all English TNReady End of Course assessments taken in high school

  • Score of 22 or higher on the Reading portion of the ACT

  • Score of 480 or higher on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading Subtest

  • Score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement English Language or English Literature exam

  • Score of B or higher on a Cambridge International English Language and Literature exam

  • Score of 4 or higher on an International Baccalaureate English Language and Literature exam

  • Grade of 85 or higher in a Dual Enrollment English course

  • For ELLs, WIDA ACCESS Composite score of 4.5 or higher in 11th grade

World Language Criteria (must meet one): 

  • Score of Intermediate-Mid (I-3) in all domains of an ACTFL-Aligned World Language assessment

  • Score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement World Language exam

  • Score of B or higher on a Cambridge International World Language exam

  • Score of 4 or higher on an International Baccalaureate World Language exam

  • Score at the Intermediate Level, 3+, on a Sign Language Proficiency Interview

  • Score of 50 or higher on a College Board CLEP Level I World Language exam

  • Score of I-4 or higher on the ALIRA Latin exam

  • Pass a foreign government's approved non-English language exam

Fall Semester GPA of 3.0 or higher in high school ELA courses

Oxford Caps

THE SEAL OF BILITERACY HONORS AWARD

FOR GRADUATING 12TH GRADERS

English Language Criteria (must meet one):

  • Score of 'Mastered' on all English TNReady End of Course assessments taken in high school

  • Score of 24 or higher on the Reading portion of the ACT

  • Score of 580 or higher on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading Subtest

  • Score of 5 on an Advanced Placement English Language or English Literature exam

  • Score of A on a Cambridge International English Language and Literature exam

  • Score of 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate English Language and Literature exam

  • Grade of 93 or higher in a Dual Enrollment English course

  • For ELLs, WIDA ACCESS Composite score of 5.0 or higher in 11th grade

World Language Criteria (must meet one): 

  • Score of Advanced-Low (A-1) in all domains of an ACTFL-Aligned World Language assessment

  • Score of 5 on an Advanced Placement World Language exam

  • Score of A on a Cambridge International World Language exam

  • Score of 5 or higher on an International Baccalaureate World Language exam

  • Score at the Advanced Level, 4+, on a Sign Language Proficiency Interview

  • Score of 50 or higher on a College Board CLEP Level II World Language exam

  • Score of A or higher on the ALIRA Latin exam

  • Pass a foreign government's approved non-English language exam

Fall Semester GPA of 3.5 or higher in high school ELA courses

10 Hours of Documented Community Service during 12th grade (waived for 2020-2021 school year)

A complete list of eligible world language assessments and levels is provided to participating schools & districts.

ABOUT US 

The Volunteer State Seal of Biliteracy seeks to provide every Tennessee student with the opportunity and means to receive a Seal of Biliteracy award upon graduation in recognition of demonstrated proficiency in two or more languages and to promote the 21st Century Workforce Skill of biliteracy throughout the state.

Phone: 615-576-0339             Email: VolStateSeal@gmail.com 

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