Students earn the Seal of Biliteracy


North once again offers the AAPPL test for students to earn a Seal of Biliteracy. Foreign language students had the chance to take it three times throughout the school year in languages such as Spanish, French, and German. In 2018, 70 students earned their seal for graduation. If students pass, they can earn their Seal of Biliteracy.
“Illinois passed a law in schools saying they can earn college credit if they can showcase their skill levels at more than their native language,” foreign language department chair Valerie Padgett- Krause said.
The test mimics real-life examples in areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students are expected to describe authentic situations and showcase their skill. They can do this with complex structures, a colorful vocabulary, and accurate language usage.
“It was set up in a way where we could pick any of the four sections: speaking, reading, writing, listening to do in any order. Questions wise, everything about it is very open-ended, so you have to be able to think on the spot, especially for speaking,” junior Sachin Dubery said.
Others students used outside resources to practice.
“I studied for the test using the materials that Madame gave me, as well as using Duolingo,” senior Max Meredith said.
Students were able to take the test in German for the first time. Junior Aidan Schmidt was one of the first students to ever take this test.
“I have family that speaks German, and I think it’s useful to know more than just English. So when I was given the chance to learn German and become bilingual I took it,” Schmidt said. “In the United States, there is no official national language. Being bilingual is becoming valuable in the workplace and also to connect with people of all backgrounds.”
Students are encouraged to get the endorsement not only for college but for having a valuable skill.
“There are so many opportunities that open up when you are bilingual. You can easily connect to people better, you can possibly get a minor, and be able to communicate when traveling,” Padgett- Krause said.