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What is the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy?

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.

Why is the Seal of Biliteracy important?

High School graduates who can function in two or more languages are equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in college, careers, and a diverse 21st century society. The seal of biliteracy: 

  • Values language as an asset 
  • Recognizes the value of language diversity & cultural identity 
  • Prepares students with 21st-century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society 
  • Provides employers, universities, and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to the attainment of biliteracy
  • Affirms native or heritage languages
  • Strengthen cross-cultural communication, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages in our communities.

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 at a high degree of competence. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) outlines the meaning of language proficiency using 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. Ankeny will recognize any student who scores at or above the required score for proficiency on the English assessment and another language assessment to be eligible for the Ankeny Seal of Biliteracy. 

How do I apply for a Seal of Biliteracy?

  • Review the guidelines and requirements for the Seal of Biliteracy in this document.
  • Consult with a Modern Language teacher to take the STAMP test following the schedule below or contact the Seal of Biliteracy Coordinator to obtain information about the approved language assessment that would be the most appropriate for you.
  • Schedule:
    • October 30th, 2020: Letter of Intent must be submitted online.
    • Week of February 22-26, 2021:  STAMP assessment will be given at ACSD. Information will be sent out through Modern Language Classrooms and Blackboard messages.
    • March 31st, 2020: Students will be notified if they will receive the Seal of Biliteracy.

What is the cost of the Seal of Biliteracy?

  • No fee is charged to students to apply for the Seal of Biliteracy. However, students are responsible for any assessment cost not covered by their school or the school district.

Does the Seal of Biliteracy apply to American Sign Language (ASL)?

  • Yes. American Sign Language is recognized by the Seal of Biliteracy.

Can a student qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy in multiple languages?

  • Yes. The requirements must be met for each language and demonstration of each language assessment must be uploaded in the electronic application and vetted by the Seal of Biliteracy coordinator.