Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions: OverviewOverview of the Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions Program.
California Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions:
California Department of Education
Multilingual Support Division
The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions are established to recognize preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students who have demonstrated progress toward proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.
- To encourage students to study languages, continue their language study, and become multilingual.
- To raise awareness about the State Seal of Biliteracy requirements and ensure that multilingual students have the information they need to meet these requirements and earn the State Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation from high school.
- To certify progress toward biliteracy.
- To prepare students with twenty-first century skills.
- To recognize and promote world language instruction in public schools.
- To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures, histories, and languages of a community.
- To implement principles one and four of the English Learner (EL) Roadmap Policy by creating an aligned and articulated pathway to multilingualism that embraces students’ home and community languages and cultures as assets.
More information about the California State Seal of Biliteracy is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) State Seal of Biliteracy web page.
More information about the EL Roadmap Policy is available on the CDE EL Roadmap web page.
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).
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.
For detailed criteria for each of the three recognitions, please see the Program Participation Recognition Criteria, the Home Language Development Recognition Criteria, and the Biliteracy Attainment Recognition Criteria using the links above.
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.
For more information on multilingual education, including descriptions of program models, information on the benefits of multilingualism, and parent resources, visit the CDE Multilingual Education web page.
To participate, LEAs are asked to submit an 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.
For the purposes of this program, the term “world language” is used to refer to all languages used in the world, including indigenous languages, languages without a written system, and ASL. English is also a world language, but the “world language” criteria listed below refers to the world language in addition to English.