The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a district to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which is English, by high school graduation.Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF475 into law during the 2018 legislative session. To be eligible to be awarded the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy, students shall demonstrate proficiency in a world language as well as proficiency in English.
The Ottumwa Community School District will be providing the STAMP assessment free of charge for students who want to earn the Seal of Biliteracy for the 19-20 school year. Students qualify on the English portion either through their ISASP scores, their ELPA21 scores, or their ACT scores. Students can gather more information on earning this honor by contacting their guidance counselor.
Why is the Seal of Biliteracy Important?
Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. The seal of biliteracy:
What is Language Proficiency?
The seal of biliteracy focuses not on “seat time” or completion of language courses; it relies on demonstrating proficiency in a given language. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) outlines the meaning of language proficiency, and they use the terms novice, intermediate, advanced, superior and distinguished to indicate levels of proficiency. For the purposes of this seal, a score that mirrors the ACTFL intermediate level is considered proficient. To learn more about how ACTFL outlines levels of language proficiency see the Appendix on page 3.
Requirements to Demonstrate Knowledge of English
To be eligible to earn the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy, each student shall demonstrate proficiency in English. The assessment options to demonstrate proficiency in English include:
Exam and Minimum Score Requirement
Where can I find more information about the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy?
What should a district do if a student graduates mid-year?
What happens if a student can demonstrate proficiency in more than two languages?
For the Seal of Biliteracy in Latin, may a district accept the results of the ALIRA, the ACTFL language test in one domain (reading)?
May the Seal of Biliteracy be awarded to seniors after they graduate if the results of a test administered during their final school year are not available at the time of graduation?
In what languages can the Seal of Biliteracy be awarded?
What if a student moves to Iowa in the middle of their senior year and hasn’t yet had the opportunity to take the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress?
If a student does not demonstrate proficiency on a test or a portion of a test, can they retake a portion of that exam or use an alternate test?
Can foreign exchange students participate in the Seal of Biliteracy?