New York State boasts a rich linguistic and cultural heritage, with students speaking over 200 languages. Understanding the importance of multilingualism and multiliteracy, the New York State Legislature established the New York State Seal of Biliteracy. The New York State Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in two or more languages. It acknowledges the importance of being biliterate in today’s global society, highlights the hard work and achievement of students, encourages them to pursue language study while in school, and supports continued development of one’s home language. Since 2016, this distinction has been awarded to over 17,800 students from hundreds of New York State schools, including public, charter, and non public high schools. This session will provide an overview of the NYS Seal of Biliteracy, with a focus on supporting candidates who pursue the Seal in their home language.
Biliteracy Pathway Awards are designed to support the learning of multiple languages starting in the earlier grades. Pathway Awards have similar goals as the NYS Seal of Biliteracy, yet they differ in that schools have the autonomy to develop their own criteria for these awards and celebrate achievement. This session is for educators and administrators of Multilingual Learners. The goal of the workshop is to explore potential designs for developing Pathway Awards and share exemplars from the field.