For the first time, hundreds of bilingual grads earn their state seal proving that they are fluent and literate in two languages as Washington state confers its new Seal of Biliteracy.
This is the first time that the honor has been bestowed on students who have a high level of proficiency in English and one other language, and it verifies the student’s ability to university admissions officers and future employers.
Over 300 graduating seniors received the Seal of Biliteracy this year. Washington is one of eight states offering it; other states include California, New York, and Illinois.
Students earn the seal by passing Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams. These exams cover the languages that are usually offered in high school, such as Spanish and French.
In yet another option, students receive credit for languages spoken at home. More than one third of the senior who earned the seal in Seattle passed tests proving they were bilingual in Mandarin, Punjabi, and Amharic.