Biliteracy brings cultures together

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By Roby Tan

Apply today!/ Filling in the application, senior Durga Ramakrishnan registers for the Seal of Biliteracy examination. She signed up to take Tamil for her proficiency exam. Photo by Roby Tan

Bilingualism is the ability to fluently speak in two languages, while biliteracy is an individual’s ability to speak, read, listen and write efficiently in two languages. The Nevada Seal of Biliteracy awards high school students who are biliterate in the form of a Certificate of Recognition, a Graduation Medallion, an official seal on the diploma and a transcript notation.

All graduating students are eligible to attain the Seal of Biliteracy if they possess a high level of language proficiency in English and one or more foreign languages during their high school years. It may be of their native-language, heritage-language or a language learned in an educational setting. 

“I would encourage students to take the test because it looks good on their diploma or resume, and it is always helpful to be familiar with another language,” Spanish teacher Mrs. Sosa said.

Applicants are required to complete all high school graduation requirements and attain at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale for all English language courses. For foreign language credit, it is required to accomplish one of the following: at least score a three or above on the Advanced Placement (AP) World Language Exam, score at least a four or above on the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Language Exam or pass at a proficient level or higher on the district-approved language examination.

“I think the test is helpful for those who speak another language that isn’t taught at school,” senior Stephania Torres said. “This way, they could still get credit even if they didn’t learn it as a course credit, and they offer assessments for a lot of languages.”

Bilingual and multilingual students are acknowledged by providing academic credit that may attract future employers and college admissions. It encourages students to learn other languages besides English, communicate well with others and participate in various cultures and their languages. It prepares students for real-world interpersonal relationships and opportunities to be more inclusive, appealing to a broader range of audiences through their language proficiency.

“I’m interested to see how much I remember and how well I do on the test since I’m more accustomed to casual language rather formal reading and writing,” senior Marshall Burnette said.

If interested, students can register for the examination by Friday, Dec. 20, and all costs are paid for by the CPD (Curriculum and Professional Development) division. The school is scheduled to hold tests on  Wednesday, March 4, so it is recommended to make use of the allotted time frame to sharpen language fluency. 

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Roby Aliyah Tan is a junior and a first-year reporter. She believes in the saying, “Trust the process.” It may be overwhelming during the first year but with a pinch of patience and optimism, she believes this year will end on a great note. She has a passion for traveling, has had her share of seeing some of the world’s wonders and wishes to pursue her dream to travel the world and be more exposed to different cultures.