Morton East breaks its own Seal of Biliteracy record


This year a total of 532 Illinois state biliteracy awards will be given to students at Morton East; that the highest number of recipients the district has ever had. 

323 students will receive a Gold Seal biliteracy award, 209 students will receive a silver commendation biliteracy award and 8 students will receive 2 awards. And,  eight amazing students who will be receiving two seals of biliteracy — because they are literate in three languages:  

  • Elizabeth Acero Rodriguez, a gold seal in Spanish and silver seal in French 
  • Kimberly Bautista, a gold seal in Spanish and a silver seal in French 
  • Ana Flores Matias, a gold seal in Spanish and a silver seal in French 
  • Adamaris Gonzalez Gonzalez, a gold seal in Spanish and a silver seal in French 
  • Fernanda Hernendez , a silver seal in Spanish and Chinese 
  • Linda Ho, a silver seal in Spanish and Vietnamese 
  • Andrea Jimenez Herrera, a gold seal in Spanish and silver seal in Chinese 
  • America Sandoval, a gold seal in Spanish and a silver seal in French 

Morton East students must take a couple of steps to be able to be qualified for the seal of biliteracy.  

Starting off, for students to be able to have a seal of biliteracy the students should speak to their language teachers to arrange a test on the language desired. Students can have more than one seal of biliteracy if they pass the test for all the languages they want to achieve. Morton Modern language teachers organized testing days for their students. Some of the languages that Morton East is offering are Spanish seal, French seal, Mandarin seal.  

A test will be arranged for a student where they will be required to perform in the desired language in 4 different tests, speaking, writing, listening and reading. The students must have a high score in all four categories to be able to receive a gold seal of biliteracy and a medium score to receive a silver seal of biliteracy. The test takes approximately 1 hour per session, a total of 4-6 hours of testing. Testing hours are divided between 4-6 different days that are equivalent to 1 hour per day. Each test has different tasks and expectations. Students are advised to speak the language as clearly and as long as possible. Students are also advised to write as much as possible and if possible, to write beyond the requirements of the tasks, this will guarantee a seal for the student. Students are allowed to take as much time as they need in the reading, writing and listening tests, The speaking test is considered to be the hardest part for the students. For the speaking test students have a limit of one minute to speak. The speaking test is arranged as if it was a conversation so the questions will only be to be mentioned twice. The students’ speaking will start as soon as the question is over.

 Finally, students are so excited to be able to have a seal of biliteracy in their diploma, but what does the seal mean? The seal of biliteracy proves that you can speak, write, listen and read in a different language. For many colleges the students are required to take a language class that students must pay for. The seal of biliteracy is a class less that you must take. The seal of biliteracy can save the students some money for when they start college. The seal on the student’s diploma can also tell their future employers that they are able to perform in different languages giving them a higher chance to get hired in a company. 

“The only thing holding so many students back from getting the Seal of Biliteracy is their unwillingness to sign up for testing. It’s good to see more and more students taking advantage of their personal strengths and going through the process. They are actually getting paid with college credits,” English teacher Kent Frankfother said. 

In fin, students were so nervous and excited for the seal of biliteracy testing. Students are ready to prove to themselves and their families that they can perform in different languages. Students get their results about their testing about two- three weeks after the test has been taken. The students will have the seal of biliteracy in their high school diploma. The seal of biliteracy is a great opportunity for the students to show their capacities and their goals.