Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy
The Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy
Nebraska’s recognition of proficiency in multiple languages
What is the Seal of Biliteracy?
The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by the State of Nebraska in recognition of high school students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.
The Seal of Biliteracy can be reflected on a student’s high school transcript. The Seal honors students’ bilingual proficiency and serves as evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices nationwide.
Learn more about the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy and follow the application process:
Who Should Apply
Purpose of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy
The purpose of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy is to acknowledge the high school recipient has achieved a high level of proficiency in English and at least one additional language other than English. The Seal is the cumulative evidence of the Nebraska World Language Standards which are structured around communication, cultures, connections, communities, and cognition within a language other than English. The Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy can be used to communicate language proficiency to employers and institutions of postsecondary education. The ability to communicate in multiple languages is viewed as an asset when applying for a job or for college admission. (ACTFL, 2019. Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers.)
The Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy is a collaboration of the Nebraska International Languages Association and the Nebraska Department of Education.
Goals of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy
- Encourage students to develop and maintain multilingual skills.
- Recognize and honor Nebraska’s rich and diverse language assets.
- Promote the ability to interact using language in culturally appropriate ways
- Encourage the development of a wide variety of high-quality language programming in Nebraska schools.
- Provide employers and postsecondary institutions with a method of identifying people with multilingual skills.
Who Should Apply for the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy?
The Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy recognizes any multilingual high school students who can demonstrate proficiency in English and at least one language other than English. Students who may be eligible for the seal include:
- English Language Learners who are proficient in a language other than English.
- Students of World Languages, such as French, Spanish or Chinese.
- Bilingual speakers of English and a heritage language other than English.
- Bilingual speakers of English and a less commonly taught language, such as Vietnamese, Somali, or Arabic.
- Bilingual speakers or students of American Sign Language.
- Bilingual speakers or students of Indigenous Languages.
- Students of Classical languages.
All students who have met the requirements are encouraged to apply for the Seal, regardless of language background or any identified condition that may exclude demonstration of language proficiency in one of the modes of communication, conditions such as blindness, deafness or hearing impairment, cognitive disability, or learning disability. Contact the World Language Education Specialist at the Nebraska Department of Education regarding any accommodation needs or additional questions.
Nebraska students wishing to receive the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy must submit an application online through the Nebraska Department of Education, pay any required fees, and upload documents demonstrating that the standards of proficiency have been met. All parts of the application will be done online.
Applications can be submitted at any time. However, applications will be reviewed after each of two annual deadlines: August 1 for fall awards, November 1 for winter awards, and April 1 for spring awards. Awards will be issued two to four weeks after the review. Recipient names may be released for publication.
All awardees will receive a certificate, attachable seal, and the optional medallion, mailed to the address provided on the application.
The Nebraska Department of Education may release the names of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy recipients through various media and announcements.
The Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy is presented as a certificate and a seal that can be attached to a student’s diploma. There is no cost for these items or the application. However, a Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy recipient may choose to order, at a cost, a Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy commemorative medallion.
There are two levels of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy: Gold and Silver. Students will be awarded a seal according to the results of identified proficiency examinations.
Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy: Gold
A Gold-level recipient of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy has demonstrated a performance equivalent to an Intermediate High or Advanced Low, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This student can communicate with ease and confidence when dealing with routine tasks and social situations in a variety of contexts.
Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy: Silver
A Silver-level recipient of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy has demonstrated a performance equivalent to an Intermediate Mid, as defined by ACTFL. This student can communicate with some comfort when dealing with uncomplicated situations in predictable contexts.
Questions? Go to the NSoBL FAQs page
Academic and Social Benefits of the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy
- Higher Education: The NSoBL in Institutions of Higher Education
- Community Support: Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy Impact & Community Support