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Equity & Access to State Seals of Biliteracy

This initiative will provide more equitable access to seals of biliteracy through research, the creation of customizable promotional materials for parents and employers, adaptable toolkits and templates for teachers and administrators, assessment supports for less commonly taught and heritage languages, and increased professional capacity to equitably administer and curricularly support student attainment of state seals.

 

What are state seals of biliteracy?

State seals of biliteracy or multilingualism are awards given to U.S. high school graduates who demonstrate high levels of proficiency in a language other than English.  Minnesota, like nearly all U.S. states, offers a version of the seal. Seals are an important recognition and powerful step towards reframing multilingualism and multiliteracy as individual and societal assets.

What is the need for this intiative?

Although seals of biliteracy or multilingualism are technically eligible to nearly all U.S. high school graduates, access is biased toward students of widely taught languages and those residing in large or well-resourced districts. Speakers of less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and heritage languages (HLs) as well as learners in rural districts earn the seals at comparatively lower rates.

What will this initiative do?

This CARLA initiative promotes world language study by generating wider awareness of—and more equitable access to—state seals of biliteracy through four areas of work:

  • documentation and analysis of current practices and challenges regionally and nationally;
  • design and disseminatation of empirically informed, customizable promotional materials and templates for parents, students, and employers in the form of an adaptable toolkit;
  • creation of assessment supports for students of less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and heritage languages (HLs); and
  • increased professional capacity to equitably administer and curricularly support student attainment of state seals.

How can I get involved?

Watch this short video for more information.

Reach out to the initiative directors to learn more, to volunteer, or to collaborate: Kendall King and Ayumi Stockman.

 

Watch this space for updates and further resources!


 

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Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414