The Seal of Biliteracy was an initiative started by Californians Together in 2008 to acknowledge and award hardworking bilingual and multilingual students. In 2011, it officially became legislation in California and now multiple states throughout the nation have implemented a statewide Seal of Biliteracy. On January 19, 2016, New Jersey became the 15th state to implement a legislated statewide Seal of Biliteracy. By achieving the Seal of Biliteracy, students demonstrate that they are able to speak, read, listen and write in two or more languages at a high level of proficiency.
The Seal of Biliteracy seeks to:
The Seal of Biliteracy opens up a sea of vast opportunities for those pursuing higher education or joining the workforce. As the world increasingly becomes more global, the need for employees with bilingual and multilingual skills has also been increasing.
Employers seek bilingual or multilingual individuals for reasons such as:
In order for students to be eligible to receive the Seal of Biliteracy, they must meet certain criteria:
Note: See the Testing Criteria section in brochure
Note: Languages for which no language test is available will be reviewed on an individual basis.
Participation in the Seal of Biliteracy Program is voluntary and at the discretion of each local school district. School districts that participate may elect to pay the costs of the program or charge a fee to students who participate to cover the costs.
The Commissioner of Education will prepare and deliver to participating school districts the certificate to be awarded to the student. It is the school district's responsibility to ensure that students receive their certificate and have an appropriate insignia affixed to their transcript.
The School District must ensure that all records are appropriately maintained to identify students who have earned the State Seal of Biliteracy.
Seal of Biliteracy legislation can be found at the following location:
Special thanks to the New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/New Jersey Bilingual Educators (NJTESOL/NJBE) and the Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ) who originally initiated a Seal of Biliteracy pilot program during the 2013-2014 school year.
For more information and questions, please contact:
New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy
The State Seal of Biliteracy was established to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, listening and writing in one or more world languages, in addition to English.