At this week’s Board of Education meeting, a group of 24 senior French and Spanish students were recognized and awarded the Seal of Biliteracy.
The New York State Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high school seniors who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English and acknowledges the importance of being bilingual in today’s global society. It highlights the years of hard work and achievement of students, and encourages them to pursue language study while in school. The distinction of attaining biliteracy is noted on their high school transcript, a NYS seal is affixed on their diploma, and the students receive a certificate as well as a medal to wear with their graduation robes.
To earn the seal, students must meet the initial ELA and World Language requirements then declare their intent to participate in the process. In order to demonstrate an Intermediate-High level of proficiency in the second language, students choose a research topic and prepare an extensive portfolio with aspects of the target culture embedded throughout, and then present and defend their portfolio in front of a panel of evaluators in the target language, French or Spanish. This is our 4th year participating in this program.
Here is a sampling of research topics our students chose to explore:
• Health Care
• Political Systems
• Natural Disasters
• Impacts of Technology
• French Book Culture
• Mental Health
• LGBTQ Rights
• Olympic Games
• Gang Violence
The World Language Department would like to thank the administration and Board of Education for supporting our program and students; with a special thank you to Ben New for heading up our committee and being our administrative liaison with OCM BOCES and the State Office of Bilingual Education, as well as faculty members Christie Brenneck, Wendy Everard and Melissa Forrett who helped support us with the ELA and Guidance elements of this process.
Last but not least, we want to thank the students for stepping up to this challenge and for the years of hard work to reach this level. We are so very proud of you!! Bravo!!
Margaux Blin (Triliteracy)