Skip to main content
Welcome to Multilingual Chicago!

U.S. Secretary of Education Urges Biliteracy and Multiliteracy Skills

In an article in the LA Daily News (February 19, 2014), Arne Duncan and Libia S. Gil "challenge our schools and communities to invest in our future leaders with biliteracy and multiliteracy skills." The authors declare that "a world-class education means learning to speak, read and write languages in addition to English." They cite the 4.6 million students learning English as "a valuable yet untapped resource" since they already come to school speaking heritage languages such as Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.


According to the Seal of Biliteracy legislation for Illinois, the following languages, in addition to English, may be used to qualify for the award: all modern languages, Latin, American Sign Language, Native American languages and native languages.
Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year,The State Seal of Biliteracy will be awarded by participating school districts in Illinois.

It's Coming!

The National Association for Bilingual Education is holding its 43rd Annual NABE Conference February 12 - 15, 2014.

This year's conference,"Sailing into the 21St Century: Multiple Languages, Multiple Paths, Lifelong Advantages," will be held at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California. It's not too late to sign up. Please visit the NABE Website for more information:








What Do Multilingual Students Say About Language?

---Being bilingual is seeing the world with a different pair of glasses: everything becomes perfectly magnified.
---One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
---Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club -- the conmmunity of speakers of that language.
---Language and culture are the software of human beings. Just as the computer hardware cannot function without the software, so human beings cannot function without language and culture.

The Illinois Seal of Biliteracy Has Been Enacted as Public Act 098-0560

Yes! School Districts in Illinois may now choose to recognize graduating high school students who demonstrate high levels of competency in English and one or more languages. Public Act 098-0560 was enacted on July 1, 2013.
The Seal of Biliteracy program is voluntary to both school districts and students.
The State Board of Education is currently working on the rules and regulations for implementing the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy.
The State Seal of Biliteracy shall be awarded beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
Encourage your school district to participate!

Great News for the Multilingual City of Chicago and the State of Illinois!

On May 30, 2013, the Illinois General Assembly unanimously enacted SB 1221, "The Seal of Biliteracy" into the illinois School Code as follows:
"The State Seal of Biliteracy program is established to recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English. The State Seal of Biliteracy is awarded beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. School district participation in this program is voluntary." This legislation currently awaits the signature of Governor Pat Quinn.

"Learn Another Language" by Arya Halbleib, 11 years old, Chicago, Illinois

How many languages can you speak? If you can only speak one language, it would be good to learn another one because knowing more than one language has many benefits.
Learning another language can get you a job faster because some people don't speak the same language as everyone else and you can help them if you can speak their language. People will be more interested in someone who speaks another language than a person who can only speak one. Also you may get paid more if you know more than one language, because you can help more people.

The Illinois Seal of Biliteracy Moves out of the State Senate

SB-1221 - The Illinois Seal of Biliteracy - passed the State Senate on April 12, with 52 votes out of 60. Eight Senators were absent! The Seal initiative will now move for a vote of our State Representatives. Want to support students who graduate with strong skills in English and another language? Contact your State Representatives and ask them to vote to make the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy a reality.

SB-1221 - The Seal of Biliteracy Update

On March 12,2013, the Illinois Senate Education Committee unanimously approved SB-1221, the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy. SB-1221 was submitted by Senator Iris W. Martinez with four co-sponsors. Senators had several questions as to how the Seal of Biliteracy would work for graduating high school students. Linda Egnatz, President of the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, proved to be an excellent Witness. She and other foreign language teachers in the Lincoln-Way School District, Frankfort, Illinois, have been piloting the program for the last year.

Syndicate content