Georgia's Seal of BiliteracyGeorgia’s Seal of Biliteracy, HB 879 was signed into law on May 3, 2016, establishing a Seal of Biliteracy for the state of Georgia. The Seal of Biliteracy will be available for graduating high school students starting in 2016/2017.
What is the Seal of Biliteracy?
The Georgia Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high school graduates who have obtained the highest levels of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. The purposes of the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy is to encourage pupils to study foreign languages; to certify attainment of biliteracy; to provide employers with a method to identify people with language and biliteracy skills; to provide universities with a method to recognize and give academic credit to applicants seeking admission; and to recognize and promote foreign language instruction in public schools.
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[additional approved proficiency assessments are available/see list]
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.
Why implement it?
The Seal of Biliteracy 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.
What are the responsibilities of schools interested in awarding the Seal of Biliteracy?
Georgia’s Seal of Biliteracy will be awarded upon high school graduation and after students have met all requirements for the Seal. Schools that wish to award the Seal must designate a contact person at each participating high school. It is recommended that the School Counselor and the World Language Department Chair or World Language Teacher Leader collaborate with collection and verification of records from student applicants. The following are responsibilities of School Counselors and World Language Department Chairs/Teacher Leaders:
• Collecting applications from students in their senior year
• Checking the qualifications of applicants including completion of all English Language Arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above in those classes and World Language AP Exam score of 4 or 5 or if AP World Languages course is not available at the school, a district approved proficiency exam- *Note that AP Exam and approved proficiency assessments shall be funded by the student’s parent/legal guardian
• Awarding qualified students with the Seal (GA DOE and School)
• Reporting students that were awarded the Seal to GA DOE through data collection on report sheet by May 1 to Patrick Wallace, World Languages and Global Workforce Initiatives Program Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org in order to obtain the seals. For students, whose AP scores are reported back in July, please submit the form by September 1 to receive the Seal after graduation.
• Once all requirements are submitted and verified, the Seal will be sent by GA DOE, and can be added to the high school diploma and transcript as well as displayed on a certificate or medal awarded to the student.
• The Seal shall 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.
How do the Seal of Biliteracy and the International Skills Diploma Seal complement each other?
-The International Skills Diploma Seal certifies attainment of intercultural competencies and focuses on international education. It reflects progress along the pathway toward achieving the specified level of language proficiency for Georgia’s Seal of Biliteracy.
-The Seal of Biliteracy focuses on language proficiency and provides a signal to businesses and educational agencies that the recipient has achieved, at minimum, a proficiency level of Intermediate High on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale.
Who qualifies for the Seal of Biliteracy?
ALL Georgia public school students are eligible to attain Georgia’s Seal of Biliteracy based on evidence of achieving the required level of language proficiency in English plus one or more other languages during their high school years. To obtain this Seal, students must demonstrate the determined level of proficiency in English, as well as one or more additional languages, be that language a native language, a heritage language, or a language learned in school or another setting. Some components for Georgia’s Seal of Biliteracy may be completed prior to high school for some students (as with dual language immersion programs, English learners, and other populations). The focus is on achieving the level of proficiency required for English and the level of proficiency required for one or more other languages.
Please visit the HCS World Language webpage for Seal of Biliteracy important documents and forms.
For more information on the Seal of Biliteracy please visit:
Georgia Department of Education. http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-andAssessment/Curriculum-and-Instruction/Pages/Georgia%27s-Seal-of-Biliteracy.aspx Seal of Biliteracy. http://sealofbiliteracy.org/