Advantages of earning the Seal of Biliteracy

Coralis Colon, Staff Writer

Nearly 100 students here received the Seal of Biliteracy, but only some know what that ultimately entails. It has so many advantages not only in College but overall helps your future. 

The Seal of Biliteracy demonstrates that you’ve learned a high enough proficiency in the language. You can clearly read, write, speak, and understand the language at a higher level. 

Some colleges accept the Seal as college credit. For example, UIUC, one of the biggest colleges in Illinois, accepts the Seal of Biliteracy as college credit. If the college accepts this as credit, they most commonly give up to eight hours of credit per language you’ve earned the Seal in, but it varies. Often this test can be used as a placement test for colleges so they get a better understanding of your level of the language. 

Some of the general advantages of having high proficiency in at least one other language are having more substantial problem-solving skills, improved memory function, stronger creative thinking capacity, better memory, more flexible/creative thinking, and more. 

General accomplishments aren’t even always the best part. “I think students feel a sense of accomplishment and validation when awarded the Seal,” said AP French Teacher Madame Song. 

Applying for a program to study abroad in a country where they speak the language that you earned the Seal of Biliteracy gives you a higher chance of getting into the program. Studying abroad can help ensure you always remember the language and lead you to explore more of the world. 

Having a high proficiency in more than one language can often mean higher pay in specific jobs in the future. Being able to speak to people who may not speak English brings in more people because they are more welcome. 

“I also know that many jobs look for people who can speak 2+ languages because those people are able to work and communicate with more people,” said junior Sofia Salas, who received the Seal in Spanish.

The Seal ends up being a gold seal on your high school diploma or transcript, so it’s a significant accomplishment either way. If it’s on your transcript, then it makes it easier for colleges to access it. 

“This year, we’re moving to start the Seal test (the STAMP) in junior year. This has an added advantage for students because they’ll be able to use the Seal or Commendation on their college and scholarship applications,” said Song. 

If not earned the first time, you can retake certain parts of the exam or even earn it by getting a four or five on the AP exam of the language.