What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

Jack Lopez

The New York State Seal of Biliteracy is an award given to students who have a high level of proficiency in two or more world languages. The Seal goes on the student’s high school diploma and is noted on the student’s transcript and on the graduation program.

How does one receive the NYSSB? Students who wish to receive the Seal of Biliteracy must complete all requirements for graduating with a NYS Regents diploma and must have a minimum requirement of three points in each of the two areas shown in the tables below.

What are some benefits of the NYSSB? One of the benefits of the Seal of Biliteracy is the distinction between yourself and other high school graduates. The Seal recognizes students who have high proficiency in English and one or more world languages. This recognition is also a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admission. It prepares students with twenty-first century skills and recognizes the value of world and home language instruction in schools.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

How can the NYSSB increase one’s job opportunities? As mentioned earlier, the Seal is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and shows dedication. However, many jobs in the United States look for workers who have high proficiency in two or more languages. I would like to retell something my father once told me. If there are three workers, one who only speaks English, one who only speaks Spanish and one who speaks both, and the company could only keep one, they’re going to pick the one who speaks both because that worker would benefit them more.  Having the Seal confirms to your employer that you have a high proficiency in two or more languages. The Seal helps you stand out against the rest of your competition and more likely to get a higher paying job.  

When was the NYSSB first introduced to CI?  It was first introduced to CI about two years ago, even though the Seal was established in 2012 and the first set of students to receive the Seal was the class of 2015-2016. In 2022, it was reported that 58.1% of districts in the Long Island region offered the NYSSB. 

You should attempt to get the NYSSB because let alone it’s an accomplishment, it acknowledges that you’re proficient in two or more languages, and recognizes all the hard work you did.   Ms. Alabau echoes this idea by saying, “It’s a distinction from New York state that recognizes that the student is able to communicate in two languages. I believe that nowadays, such recognition would help to improve the future of the students.”