Global Seal of Biliteracy Celebrates Inaugural Award Recipients

Global Seal of Biliteracy Executive Director, Linda Egnatz, presented 111 Inaugural Global Seal of Biliteracy awards at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) annual convention held in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 16-18, 2018.

 To earn a Global Seal of Biliteracy, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in English and another language which could be a home language or one learned in school. Recipients were language learners of nine languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish and Vietnamese) from schools in Florida, Kentucky and Washington state. Seals were given at both of the Global Seal of Biliteracy award levels: Functional Fluency for those who have sufficient skills for frequent, commonplace workplace interactions and Working Fluency for those with enough skills to handle problem solving and unexpected workplace situations.

 Schools that participated included the 102 year old, independent Louisville Collegiate School (Louisville, KY), Seattle Public International and Dual Language Schools (Seattle, WA), and the Community School of Naples, an independent NAIS school in (Naples, FL). Representatives from each of the inaugural school programs were present at the award ceremony hosted by David Bong, CEO of Avant Assessment of Eugene, Oregon, the proud founder and sponsor of the Global Seal.

 Receiving Functional Fluency Global Seal of Biliteracy awards in Spanish and French for 18 students from Louisville Collegiate School was Emily Ibrahim, the Spanish teacher of some of the recipients. According to Diego Ojeda, World Languages Department Chair at Louisville, “World languages are an important and integral part of their mission to prepare global citizens.”

 “We are thrilled that 14 of our State Seal of Biliteracy recipients in Seattle from the graduating class of 2018 were able to qualify for the Global Seal of Biliteracy at the Working Fluency level,” stated Dr. Michele Aoki, the International Education Administrator for Seattle Public Schools and head of Seattle’s International Schools with Dual Language Immersion programs. “This included students who tested in Vietnamese, Spanish, and Japanese with Advanced Placement tests, International Baccalaureate tests, as well as the Avant STAMP and WorldSpeak tests,” Aoki added. Nine of the 14 students were from Dual Language Immersion programs in Spanish and Japanese who reached the district’s goal of Working Fluency by 12th grade.  Aoki thanked the Global Seal of Biliteracy for the opportunity to highlight their students’ hard work, commitment, and achievement.

 Parthena Draggett, Department of World Languages and Cultures Chair, accepted the award on behalf of 78 students from the Community School of Naples. She recognized three Naples students who received multiple awards: Juliana-Maria Badra distinguished herself in Arabic, French, German, and English, Lea Schulz acquired Working Fluency in German, Spanish, and English, and Maria Abood attained Global Seals in French, Spanish and English. Draggett added, “At CSN, we believe that, as our world has become smaller and more interconnected, being a global citizen and developing the skills of communicating, relating, problem solving, and adapting have become even more important.” Headmaster Dr. David Watson shared, “All of us are extremely proud and honored that our Upper School students have been selected for the prestigious award of the Global Seal of Biliteracy. This distinction reflects the relevance and future focus of our school’s global mission and brings credit upon our students and their outstanding teachers.”

 About the Global Seal of Biliteracy

The mission of the Global Seal of Biliteracy is to offer an inclusive opportunity for ALL language users to earn recognition for their language proficiency skills, including private, charter, independent, college, and homeschoolers who are not eligible to receive state Seal of Biliteracy awards,. The Global Seal of Biliteracy organization, founded and sponsored by Avant Assessment, has an independent Board of Advisors made up of K-12 and higher education faculty and second language acquisition and assessment researchers from across the country who advise and guide the program’s mission.

To learn more about the Global Seal of Biliteracy, visit