Blazers test for Maryland Seal of Biliteracy award

Nov. 25, 2018, 8:30 p.m. | By Emmy Song | 5 years, 7 months ago

Students must demonstrate proficiency in English and a foreign language to earn the award

On Nov. 20, Blair administered the Avant STAMP 4S, an assessment that measures proficiency in foreign languages, to seniors to determine their eligibility for the Seal of Biliteracy. The seal is an award from the Maryland State Board of Education that recognizes a student’s proficiency in English and one or more other languages. In order to earn the award, students must pass either the English 10 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or the Bridge Project, and either score a 4 or 5 on an AP foreign language exam or demonstrate proficiency on the Avant STAMP 4S assessment.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) superintendent Jack Smith implemented the Seal of Biliteracy award in high schools last year. At Blair, only seniors who are not enrolled in AP language classes are able to take the test, which is administered free of cost. "The purpose of allowing seniors who are not taking AP foreign language test to take the test is to take care of that group, who wouldn't have the opportunity to prove their biliteracy otherwise," world languages resource teacher Brenda Barrera said.

This year, Blair identified 114 eligible seniors, of which 68 registered. Barrera encourages more students to take the test and emphasizes the value of earning the Seal of Biliteracy. "You will have an official document on your diploma that says: I'm bilingual. I can speak, write, and understand a language other than English," she said. The assessment will be opened to juniors as well when it is administered again in the winter.

The languages available to be tested are Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Russian and Spanish. For more information on the Seal of Biliteracy and how to test in a language not listed above, visit MCPS' website.

Last updated: Nov. 25, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

Tags: Seal of Biliteracy

Emmy Song. Hi! I'm Emmy and I'm a senior at Blair. When I'm not working on SCO, I can be found solving math problems, curating Spotify playlists, or watching the sun set. More »

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