In a world of global business and communications, speaking more than one language is viewed as a valuable skill. NLU and the Illinois State Board of Education are helping to recognize and reward learners who acquire a second language, or multiple languages, by promoting the Seal of Biliteracy, a nationwide initiative.
More than 150 educators from across Illinois came to NLU’s Lisle campus recently to learn how to bring the Seal of Biliteracy program to their school districts.
Jason Stegemoller, Ph.D., associate professor in National Louis University’s ESL and Bilingual Education programs, and Tina Paduck, Ed.D., an NLU adjunct professor who also works for the ISBE Department of English Language Learning (DELL), played a key role in holding the symposium at NLU.
“Illinois has taken the lead as one of the first states to adopt legislation to implement Seal of Biliteracy programs,” Stegemoller said, adding that the gold Seal of Biliteracy on students’ diplomas or transcripts will reinforce biliteracy’s value, and a students’ skills, to businesses competing in a global environment.
Participants learned how to create pathways to biliteracy and implement Seal of Biliteracy programs in their own districts. The Seal of Biliteracy initiative promotes biliteracy and open doors to global citizenship.
“The ability to speak more than one language is a huge asset that has many cognitive, economic, and social benefits, plus it strengthens connections to family and ancestors,” Stegemoller said.
“The Seal of Bilteracy is a concrete action to demonstrate the value of bilingualism, which recognizes the hard work that goes into acquiring a language or maintaining and developing a heritage language.”
NLU plans to offer college credit to high school graduates with the Seal of Biliteracy on their transcripts, and faculty will actively promote it and spread the word, Stegemoller said.
Learn more about the Seal of Biliteracy at http://sealofbiliteracy.org.