John-Nathan RosboroughWednesday, April 5, 2023
Altamont World Language students recently earned The Seal of Biliteracy, an international certification awarded to show real skill in two or more languages. The Seal can be used as a credential and celebrates language proficiency: it helps recipients showcase their language abilities to any school or employer, across state lines or around he world.
The Acta Diurna's John-Nathan Rosborough caught up with Allison Ramey, the head of the World Languages Department, to discuss the achievement and what it really means.
Rosborough: What are the requirements to receive this award?
Ramey: A student must have gotten a thirty or higher on ACT English component, or a minimum 650 on English exam on the SAT. You also must have "intermediate 4," which is the actual performance in language assessment, meaning you must have high intermediate proficiency in second language on the APPL exam, which is the final exam and decides if you get the Seal or not.
How many people take the exam at Altamont?
Last year was the first time the test was offered, and we had seven students take the test. This year the number rose to thirteen. I predict that it might rise or plateau next year because to take the test, you must be a senior which means being in a world language for at least four consecutive years. I hope this test will encourage more people to take their language during their senior year. At graduation, a student will get a certificate that says they are proficient in two languages, which they can present to universities or employers.
Why does The Altamont School Value this certificate so much?
Knowing another language can be helpful to your career and when traveling. It also helps appreciate other cultures, and you can use it in jobs. Latin students can interpret and understand history and now the other language students can leave with a lasting impact as well. The mission of Altamont is to improve the fabric of society, and this certificate creates graduating and compassionate people who can do that. It is also important to the students because it gives students a tangible accomplishment as many students can feel that taking three years of language with no result is futile.
Why do students try to get the Seal?
Many students feel like they have sat in the same language class for years, so this gives them proof and doesn’t make it seem like it was a waste of time. Students can know how much they have learned. The Global Seal proves students can do a lot and are able to know more than many other students who take the tests from other schools.
The students who earned the Global Seal of Biliteracy this year are:
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