I have blogged about our experience with the Global Seal of Biliteracy a bit on my blog, but I haven’t had a chance to give more details about how it worked for us. It was a great experience, and I am still SO proud of our 19 students who earned the seal.
First, the Global Seal is different from your state seal. In most states in order to get your state seal, you have to be teaching at a public school that has adopted it. Plus, not all states have adopted the state seal. If your state hasn’t adopted it, then you can apply for the Global Seal. Private or independent schools are unable to apply for their state seals, so these schools must apply for the Global Seal. Also, this award can be awarded to college students or people in the workforce. My previous school applied for this for our students because it was an independent school. Homeschool students can also consider applying for it.
Second, some of your students may have already earned it! If your students take the AP language exam as juniors and earned a 3 or above, they have earned it! Yay!
For your students who will take the AP as seniors or are not in AP, there are a few tests that they can use to qualify. You can look up all of the resources here. Our school decided to use the AAPPL because we have used these tests before, and they are the cheapest ones. Since students have to take form B, it can take a long time. I gave my seniors a full week to take the tests because in form B, it takes one class period to take the reading and another class period to take the listening. Also, the writing one takes forever for students who will be able to qualify. Most students took an hour and a half, but some took longer. Make sure that you have set aside enough time.
While many of our students were able to qualify the first time they took the AAPPL, some students struggled with the speaking section. It is awkward to talk to no one and know that they are recording. We had some students who struggled the first time, but earned I4 or I5 the second time on speaking. I believe that this is due to the awkwardness of talking to no one that can ask you another question to keep going. We encourage students to talk for as long as they can.
Once we got the AAPPL results, we applied for the Global Seal and sent in the qualifying scores. We received the certificates within a week or two after submitting the information! The application process of the Global Seal is extremely painless. The other amazing thing about the Global Seal is that each student receives a special code with their certificate that they can use on their LinkedIn profile. It allows students to put this on their job applications.
If you haven’t thought about the Global Seal and you qualify, I highly recommend that you consider it! You can ask me questions, but Global Seal is also very responsive on Twitter.