Seal of Biliteracy
The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy
The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy is an award given in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in English and one additional world language by high school graduation.
The Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to study world languages and also encourages students to embrace their native and heritage languages.
The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy will provide employers with a way to identify individuals with strong language and biliteracy skills. It may serve as an additional tool for colleges and universities to recognize applicants’ language abilities for admission and placement.
What are the benefits of the Seal?
Advantages and Benefits
Studies show that learning an additional language BOOSTS BRAIN POWER…
- Children learn an additional language more naturally and quickly, and have more native-like pronunciation.
- Students who are multilingual score higher on standardized exams in math, reading comprehension and vocabulary compared to monolingual students.
- Learning an additional language offers proven benefits for intelligence, concentration and delayed risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- People who speak more than one language have better memory and memorization skills, including better working memory.
- Children and adults who speak more than one language exhibit greater mental flexibility and can switch between tasks more quickly. Studies show that learning a second language ENHANCES EMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING...
- It increases cultural awareness and provides for enriched interpersonal exchanges and experiences.
- It creates a stronger sense of community.
- It fosters a more global perspective.
- It provides social and emotional benefits such as better self-control.
In a recent survey of U.S. employers, 66% reported valuing foreign language skills in the hiring process and 41% reported giving preference to multilingual job candidates (Damari et al., 2017). In Michigan, international trade-related jobs grew 17% from 2004-2014 while total employment declined 1% (Business Roundtable, 2015). There is also a growing need for bilingual employees across a wide range of occupations, regardless of educational requirements or salary (New American Economy, 2017). The MI-SoBL serves as an endorsement to employers that a High School graduate enters the workforce with highly desired skills in more than one language.
How to apply for the Seal
The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy requires students to meet the following criteria:
meet all high school graduation requirements
demonstrate intermediate high proficiency through transcripts or other acceptable documentation
demonstrate intermediate high proficiency on an approved world language assessment or commercial assessment (pending)
Seal of Biliteracy Pathways Flowchart
- To initiate the process to apply, the Seal of Biliteracy Eligibility Application is required to be completed.
Existing Lansing School District Students
School staff or parents/guardians will assist with completing the Seal of Biliteracy Eligibility Application and upload records, report cards, or transcripts into the application and the documents section in Synergy. If records are in a language other than English, please contact Trisha Black to assist with the translation of the document.
For guidance pertaining credit and grade equivalencies in countries outside the United States, please utilize the NCAA Guide to International Academic Standards. If further assistance is needed, please contact the Bilingual Education Department.
Newly Arrived Lansing School District Students
The Bilingual Education Department will assist with completing the Seal of Biliteracy Eligibility Application and upload records, report cards, or transcripts into the application and Synergy during the Multilingual Learner Intake appointment.
2. The Bilingual Education Department will review applications and verify credentials to determine initial eligibility for the Seal. Documents will also be uploaded into Synergy for future reference.
3. In April of each year, The Bilingual Education Department will confirm graduating students with school counselors, records clerks, graduation specialists and other supporting staff apply, on the student's behalf, for Seal through the Michigan Department of Education.
4. Once the Michigan Department of Education receives and approves the application, The Bilingual Education Department will provide the Seal, award letter and graduation cord to the point contact staff member at each school to present to the student during the awards ceremony.