Ryan Wertz, Kathy Shelton and Paula Sondej,
World Language Consultants, Ohio Department of Education
Ohio Seal of Biliteracy
In our last Around the State article, we provided you with some important, initial information about Ohio’s new Seal of Biliteracy Program. Be sure to check out the Autumn 2017 issue of The Cardinal if you are still in need of a basic tutorial.
Since that that article was published, we have rolled out a dedicated Seal of Biliteracy webpage that has the basic information you will need to implement a program locally in your school or district. Included among the resources are the following items:
1. A short Introductory Video introducing the program;
2. A Frequently Asked Questions document that should address most of the questions you might initially have;
3. A synopsis of both the English and World Language Requirements for earning a Seal of Biliteracy;
4. A List of Approved World Language Assessments; and
5. A link to the Ohio Administrative Code Rule that spells out the particulars of the program for administrators.
Over time, as the needs of the field become known in terms of understanding and implementing the program, we will develop and add additional resources as needed to provide clarification.
Another way for interested stakeholders to learn more about the program is to log onto STARS and search for keywords “Seal of Biliteracy” to find information about any of 14 different Seal of Biliteracy PD training events being held regionally throughout the state during the month of January. Nearly all are being held after school, and registration is free.
Another recommendation is to actively involve your local guidance counselors in any discussions or decision-making that take place around the Seal of Biliteracy Program. Counselors will play a key role in various aspects of the implementation of the program, including informing students about the program and its requirements in a timely enough manner for them to be able to work towards securing a Seal of Biliteracy.
Please share all this information with the decision-makers in your school or district who are charged with deciding whether your institution(s) will participate or not in the program. Those implementing the program do not need to report this to the Department. However, we do recommend that implementing institutions post something on their website visible to parents, students and visitors calling attention to participation in the program.
Can-Do Statements Update
The 2017 NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Communication and Interculturality were released this past October after two years of collaboration between NCSSFL and ACTFL. The new Can-Do statements can be found on the ODE World Language Model Curriculum page here.
The 2017 Can-Do statements guide:
• Language learners to identify and set learning goals and chart their progress towards language and intercultural proficiency;
• Educators to write communication learning targets for curriculum, unit and lesson plans;
• Stakeholders to clarify how well learners at different stages can communicate.
Aligned with the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 and the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners the Can-Do Statements reflect the continuum of growth in communication skills through the Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior, and Distinguished levels.
The NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Intercultural Communication and the Reflection Tool for Learners provide a set of examples and scenarios that show how learners use the target language and knowledge of culture to demonstrate their Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC).
For teachers who have been using the previous 2013 version of the Can-Do Statements, those will be available on the ODE website until the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year in June.
As always, if you or your administrators have questions about the topics mentioned above – or any world language-related matter, please don’t’ hesitate to contact one of the three of us at your earliest convenience!