The new Seal of Biliteracy requirement is unnecessary and takes time away from what the course is supposed to teach us. We had to use up class time because Shen wants the whole world to know that all of its students are “bilingual” when everyone knows that 95% of students do not actually learn to speak the language they take fluently. This is a waste of class time and should be optional as it once was. Making it a requirement takes away its importance to the students who actually care and wanted be recognized for truly excelling in their LOTE class. This project does nothing to prove the biliteracy of students, all it does it add more stress and take away from class time.

Written by on January 31, 2020

A. The Seal of Biliteracy is an opportunity for both World Language students and English-Language Learners to demonstrate that they are able to read and write at an intermediate-high level of proficiency in two languages, and a chance for students and families to celebrate the hard work that students have completed during their time at Shen. Students who obtain the Seal are not expected to demonstrate fluency; that will only come with years of practice and dedication to the language. The goals of the Seal of Biliteracy program are aligned with our Profile of a Shen Graduate, as we strive for graduates to be Critical and Innovative Thinkers who are also Globally Competent Persons. Because upper-level world language courses at Shen have always been rigorous, the components of the project are not actually new to most world language courses; they already existed in some form in the world language curricula, and were never optional. Students in years past completed the same projects, but without the benefit of earning the Seal. The only new component is the brief presentation that students will present as the culminating piece of the project; this component is optional.

The Seal of Biliteracy is not unique to Shen; it exists in some form in 48 other states, and in most schools in our region. You can click here to learn more about the program: