Virginia's Seal of Biliteracy

Virginia's Seal of Biliteracy

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) instituted the Seal of Biliteracy in 2015 allowing students of Virginia high schools to graduate with this seal upon demonstrating a minimum level of proficiency skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking world languages in addition to meeting graduation requirements in English.

The Seal is an incentive for Virginia students to demonstrate their biliteracy skills for personal motivation and recognition in addition to using its achievement as another skill set to make them more competitive in the 21st-century job market.

All details about the criteria for earning the Biliteracy Seal, the most frequently asked questions, and the most current research about its merits and other seals students may also earn are found on the VDOE webpage. For example, the VDOE states:

The Board of Education's Seal of Biliteracy certifies attainment of a high level of proficiency by a graduating high school student in one or more languages in addition to English, and certifies that the graduate meets of the following criteria:

  • The Board of Education's Seal of Biliteracy will be awarded to students who earn either a Board of Education-approved diploma and (i) pass all required End-of-Course Assessments in English reading and writing at the proficient or higher level; and (ii) be proficient at the intermediate-mid level or higher in one or more languages other than English, as demonstrated through an assessment from a list to be approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • For purposes of this article, "foreign language" also referred to as "world language" means a language other than English and includes American Sign Language.

Currently the criteria, which is updated annually by the VDOE and published on its webpage and the link provided above, can only be attained by achieving a designated level of skill as determined through an approved external world/foreign language exam. Seat time nor grades are part of the criteria. This is common practice among all states throughout the United States.

PWCS considers its linguistic diversity an asset and encourage all students to value world languages as a lifelong skill set and being multi-lingual an asset for all career pathways and personal enhancement.