775 Iowa high school students awarded state seal of biliteracy
DES MOINES – In the first year since the state of Iowa launched its Biliteracy Seal aimed at high school students who are proficient in more than one language, 775 students earned the seal during the last school year.
The seal is given by school districts to recognize students who have attained proficiency in English as well as at least one other language through approved assessments.
“The seal honors students for an impressive accomplishment,” said Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education. “We commend these students and we are pleased that so many districts chose to honor them for achieving biliteracy.”
Of the 96 school districts that signed up to offer the seal, 55 awarded it to their students.
Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. Proficiency in a second language gives students an edge in the labor market and global society.
Biliteracy also helps students understand the value of diversity and cultural identity.
Students earned the seal in 19 different languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Karen languages, Korean, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, and Vietnamese.