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Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions

Information about the Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions program and its requirements for students, parents, and educators.

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions are established to recognize preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students who have demonstrated progress toward proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.

To order the certificate template, submit an online Biliteracy Pathways Recognition Participation Form, available below under the Requirements & Forms tab.

Overview

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions are an optional program and participation is voluntary. Local educational agencies (LEAs) may customize the criteria to fit their local needs and to ensure the criteria reflects their program goals. Unlike the State Seal of Biliteracy, this program is not established in California Education Code and therefore the criteria are suggested only and may be modified.

The CDE provides optional criteria, guidance, and certificate templates as a resource. LEAs may choose to use or modify the materials provided. No student information must be submitted to the CDE in order to participate. LEAs should keep records locally.

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions may be awarded in any world language in addition to English, including indigenous languages, languages without a written system, and American Sign Language (ASL).

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions Program Overview provides additional information about the purpose of the program, an overview of the recognitions available, logistical information, and more.

Equity

It is important to ensure that all students have access to the Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions including underserved populations and students with disabilities. All students, including English learners, students with disabilities, and English learners with disabilities, can benefit from opportunities to develop multilingualism.

For more information on serving English learners with disabilities see the CDE California Practitioners’ Guide for Education English Learners with Disabilities (PDF).

For more information on parent and family engagement, see the CDE Parent/Family web page.

Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions

The three Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions available are:

  • Biliteracy Program Participation Recognition
    The Biliteracy Program Participation Recognition is available to students enrolled in programs leading to biliteracy in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. As a participation recognition, this award is provided to all students enrolled in the program and is not based on the student’s proficiency. This recognition is an entry on the path to biliteracy or multiliteracy.

  • Home Language Development Recognition
    The Home Language Development Recognition is available to emergent bilingual students with a home language other than English in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. This recognition is provided to students who demonstrate that they are continuing to develop the home language by engaging in age-appropriate activities in the home language. This recognition is an entry on the path to biliteracy or multiliteracy.

  • Biliteracy Attainment Recognition
    The Biliteracy Attainment Recognition is available to students at the end of elementary school (the grade level depends on the program model, usually either grade five or six), and the end of middle school (the grade level depends on the program model, usually grade eight). This recognition is based on proficiency and is awarded to students who meet specific proficiency criteria in English and one or more languages in addition to English. This recognition is aligned with the State Seal of Biliteracy requirements and is an indication that if a student continues on this path in high school they will be prepared to meet the requirements to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy.
There are multiple paths to biliteracy and these recognitions provide LEAs with the opportunity to highlight some of these paths to encourage students to pursue biliteracy or multiliteracy in high school and beyond.

Resources

Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

California Department of Education (CDE) Resources

CDE Multilingual Education

CDE World Languages Standards

CDE World Languages Framework

Partner Resources

The First 5 California Everyday Opportunities for Speech, Language, and Literacy Development web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides tips for parents on how to build literacy skills in young children. This page can be viewed in English or Spanish.

The First 5 California Multiple Languages in the Home, Benefits and Myths web page External link opens in new window or tab. explains the benefits of learning two or more languages at home and provides tips on how to expand dual language skills. This page can be viewed in English or Spanish.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition Benefits of Multilingualism Infographic External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) explains cognitive, educational, economic, and sociocultural benefits of multilingualism.

The U.S. Department of Education Early Learning: Talk, Read, and Sing! web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes fact sheets on the benefits of bilingualism, tips for parents of young children, and other resources in English and Spanish.

The ¡Colorín, Colorado! For Families web page External link opens in new window or tab. includes resources and tips for parents including information on helping children learn to read and on raising bilingual kids, among other topics. This page can be viewed in English or Spanish. 

Participating Local Educational Agencies (LEAs)

The participating schools and districts will be posted annually on this tab. The Biliteracy Pathway recognitions were established in 2021–22.

The 2021–22 school year data will be collected using the Biliteracy Pathways Recognition Participation Form available under the “Requirements & Forms” tab. LEAs interested in participating in the program must submit a Biliteracy Pathways Recognition Participation Form annually to be included in the data posted here.

Requirements and Forms

Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions Participation Form

Biliteracy Pathways Recognition Participation Form (Coming Soon)

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions Participation Form will be linked here once it is available. Please fill out this online form to participate in the Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions program and to request the Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions certificate templates.

Procedures

To participate, local educational agencies (LEAs) are asked to submit the online form that includes information on:

  • The district and school(s) participating;
  • The program model(s) (dual language immersion, heritage language, foreign language experience, etc.);
  • The type(s) of Biliteracy Pathway Recognition(s) being offered (Biliteracy Program Participation Recognition, Home Language Development Recognition, Biliteracy Attainment Recognition, and/or local recognition);
  • The number of students receiving the recognitions and the language(s) in which they are being recognized;
  • The number of students being recognized with an Individualized Education Program (IEP); and
  • The number of students being recognized who are current or former English learners (for kindergarten through grade eight programs).

LEAs may choose to award one or more of the three Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions to students.

Requirements

Biliteracy Program Participation Recognition

Home Language Development Recognition

Biliteracy Attainment Recognition

There are multiple paths to biliteracy. These recognitions provide LEAs with the opportunity to highlight some of these paths to encourage students to continue to pursue biliteracy or multiliteracy in high school and beyond.

The criteria above are guidance and may be adapted for all grade levels as established by the school district or county office of education.

State Seal of Biliteracy

The State Seal of Biliteracy, marked by a gold seal on the diploma or transcript, recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English.

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions are recognitions provided to students in preschool through middle school on the path toward developing biliteracy.

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions can be used to motivate students to pursue the State Seal of Biliteracy upon high school graduation. Consider sharing information with students and families about the State Seal of Biliteracy early so that they are aware of the criteria and can help ensure that students are prepared to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy in high school.

For more information about the State Seal of Biliteracy, visit the CDE State Seal of Biliteracy web page.

Questions:   Multilingual Support Division | SEAL@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0938
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 9, 2021
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