the seal of biliteracy
Congratulations to the Darien High School Class of 2022!
This year, 131 Seniors will earn the Seal of Biliteracy at graduation, the highest number our program has had since its inception in 2017. Below is the list of recipients.
At Darien High School, we offer both Seals of Biliteracy - the Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy, and the Global Seal of Biliteracy. Both Seals have the same requirements; therefore, we are able to offer both simultaneously.
Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy (SOBL): In the fall of 2017, the State of Connecticut passed "HB 7159/ PA 17-29: An Act Concerning Connecticut's Seal of Biliteracy," officially making Connecticut the 27th state in the country with a State-awarded Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is a national award given by school districts to recognize students who have studied and attained proficiency in English and one or more other languages by graduation. The Seal recognizes the value of students' academic efforts, the tangible benefits of being bilingual and biliterate, and prepares students to be 21st-century global citizens in a multicultural, multilingual world. Darien High School began awarding the SOBL in 2018, making us one of the first school districts in the State of Connecticut to adopt the program.
In addition to the page linked above from the Connecticut Department of Education, you can also view more information from the Connecticut Organization of Language Teachers.
Global Seal of Biliteracy (GSB): The Global Seal of Biliteracy is a language credential issued in collaboration with a school or organization. Students that qualify for the Global Seal of Biliteracy with their assessment scores earn "Functional Fluency," "Working Fluency," or "Professional Fluency" and, because the GSB is serial-numbered, it can be listed as a formal credential on a CV, resume, or LinkedIn digital profile. Darien High School will begin to award the GSB to the 2022 Graduating Class.
In 2019, we expanded awarding the Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy to heritage speakers of languages other than English. In 2022, heritage speakers will also qualify for the Global Seal of Biliteracy.
Qualifying for *BOTH* Seals of Biliteracy: All students in Connecticut are eligible to earn the Seals of Biliteracy based on evidence of achieving intermediate-level proficiency in two or more languages by graduation. In Darien, students must also meet all of the English graduation requirements in order to qualify for the Seals. This means that a student can complete the language component of the Seals of Biliteracy by earning a qualifying score on a World Language proficiency assessment in Grades 10, 11, or 12, and then earn the full Seal of Biliteracy designation at graduation after meeting all of the requirements for English.
Language proficiency assessments are offered at no cost to Darien High School students.
To recap, students at Darien High School can earn both Seals of Biliteracy by:
1. meeting all English requirements for graduation from Darien High School, *AND*
2. studying a World Language at DHS and earning a qualifying score on a proficiency assessment in Grades 10, 11, or 12, *OR*
3. learning a language other than English at home and earning a qualifying score on a proficiency assessment in Grades 10, 11, or 12.
The following students that are currently enrolled in a World Language course at DHS qualify for assessment:
- all sophomores enrolled in a Level 3/3H course
- all students enrolled in a Level 4/4H course
- all students enrolled in a Level 5 course
- all students enrolled in an AP-level course
- all juniors and seniors enrolled in a Level 2 course
How heritage speakers can earn the Seals of Biliteracy in their home language: We offer Seal of Biliteracy assessments to students in grades 10, 11, and 12 that are heritage speakers of the following languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Chin, Chuukese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino (Tagalog), French, German, Greek, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Ilocano, Italian, Hawai'ian (Olelo Hawai'i), Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin Chinese, Marathi, Marshallese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Somali Maay Maay, Somali Maxaa, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yup'ik, and Zomi. If your heritage language is not listed here, it means that there may not be a functional proficiency exam for it.
At the end of January 2022, an email message was sent to all students and parents in Grades 10, 11, and 12 in order to collect information from students who are heritage speakers interested in earning the Seals of Biliteracy in their home languages. The survey closed on Thursday, February 3. Students that did not have an opportunity to enroll in the program this year will have an opportunity to enroll next year.
We recognize that many students in our community are proficient in two or more languages; therefore, a student is able to earn multiple Seals of Biliteracy.
How language proficiency is measured for the Seals of Biliteracy: World language students at Darien High School that are currently enrolled in a French, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish course are assessed using the Avant STAMP 4S (Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency) in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Students that study Latin will take the ALIRA (Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment).
Students that self-identify as a heritage speaker of a language other than English may take an assessment different from the STAMP 4S. If you self-identify as a heritage speaker of one of the languages listed above, you will receive information separately via email that is specifically related to your test.
Some students, because of the grade that they are in, may have several opportunities to take these proficiency assessments throughout their time at Darien High School. Both the SOBL and GSB accept "superscores." That means that, when it is time to report student scores, we look at all of the scores a student has earned over their time at DHS and report the best combined score.
When our assessments are offered: All students that qualify for a proficiency assessment will take their assessment in school, in person, in March. This applies to students who are currently studying a world language at Darien High School in our World Language program, as well as those that self-identify as speakers of a language other than English.
Why offer the Seal of Biliteracy? By offering the Seal of Biliteracy as a designation, the Darien Public Schools acknowledges that mastery of two or more languages is a valuable asset for both individual students and the communities in which they live. In order to earn the Seal, students must demonstrate their ability to use the language, rather than their knowledge about the language.
The Seal of Biliteracy...
- encourages students to study languages
- certifies attainment of biliteracy skills
- recognizes the value of language diversity
- provides employers with a method of identifying Connecticut high school graduates with biliteracy skills
- assists universities in recognizing applicants with language skills
- equips students with 21st-century skills that will allow them to succeed in college and careers in a global society
- strengthens relationships and honors the multiple cultures and languages represented in Connecticut communities
- encourages students to develop communicative proficiency in multiple languages
- values the knowledge and skills of both English speakers learning world languages, as well as English learners studying English or other world languages, and
- recognizes and rewards students' linguistic and cultural knowledge
We thank you for your support of World Languages at Darien High School!