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The Illinois Senate Debates SB 1221 - the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy

SB1221 is currently under study in the Education Committee of the Illinois Senate. SB 1221, sponsored by State Senator Iris Martinez, would establish a process whereby high school students who are biliterate in English and a second language would receive official recognition at graduation. Committee members will meet on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, to determine whether to submit the bill to the entire State Senate. Do you know your State Senator? Give him or her a call to support this important initiative already a reality in the states of California and New York.

The Seal of Biliteracy for Illinois Moves Forward with Senate Bill 1221!

On January 30, 2013, State Senator Iris Y. Martinez introduced SB1221 to establish the State Seal of Biliteracy program in Illinois. A synopsis of the bill follows: "Amends the School Code, Establishes the State Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. Provides that the State Seal of Bililteracy shall be awarded by the State Board of Education beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.


Multilingual Chicago wishes you

It Pays to be Bilingual

According to the Chicago Tribune (11/25/12,Jason Lee, Tribune Media Services), being bilingual can help you find a job. All things being equal, the bilingual job candidate is worth twice as much in almost any job. "The need for employees with foreign language skills is only expected to grow in the next 10 year." Think of the opportunities! Lee lists nine major areas where a good command of English and a second language can be invaluable: health care, information technology, education, customer service and hospitality, government, finance, social services and law enforcement. Do you agree?

Latino-Chicago in the Spotlight

The August-September 2012 issue of the magazine "PODER HISPANIC" features an article on "a large and thriving Latino culture -- adding even more variety to Chicago's vibrant ethnic mosaic." Featured are ten locales of high interest in and around Chicago, including a Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Des Plaines), the Paseo Boricua in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, Aguijón Theater, a Spanish-language company on Chicago's Northwest Side and the National Museum of Mexican Art with its collection of more than 7,500 pieces. ¡Felicidades, Chicago!

Value of Language

"Language occupies a central position in life. It is the most important medium of thought and the key component of culture. It is the window into the culture of any given group. It is also an individual's identity card." - Lev Soudek, Northern Il University, 1976.

First Year Results of Seal of Biliteracy in California

According to NABE (National Association of Bilingual Educators, 7/12//2012) "More than 10,000 graduating high school students across California have earned the first state recognition in the nation for
achieving proficiency in multiple languages, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Toriakson announced. The 'State Seal of Biliteracy' was established per Assembly Bill 815 to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English."

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

According to CALIFORNIANS TOGETHER, ( "The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, school district or county office of education in California in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.

Moving Ahead with Bilingual Education

When was the last time you heard something positive about bilingual education? Are there ways to support our children and students as they learn English or a world language?
Multilingual Chicago presents "Moving Ahead with Bilingual Education", a forum for teachers and parents on Saturday, June 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at St. Augustine College, 1345 West Argyle Street in Chicago. There will be food, friendship and parking -- and it's FREE! CPDUs are available for teachers.

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance brings you. . . The Life of Roberto Clemente!

Come visit the PRAA Cultural Center, 3000 North Elbridge, to see "Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente." This traveling Smithsonian exhibit is available until June 3, 2012. Gallery hours are from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm Tuesday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm. Admission is FREE. For more information call the Center at 773-342-8865.

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