Seal of Biliteracy testing readies students for college, beyond

This past June, 138 Glenbrook District 225 graduates received the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy. Of that group, seven graduates are fluent in more than two languages. 

The award is given to seniors upon graduation in recognition of having achieved the state-determined level of proficiency in English as well as one or more additional languages. The Seal of Biliteracy is noted on that student’s high school transcript or diploma, and it certifies their biliteracy for employers or universities.

Glenbrook South students Yvonne Fondrevay and Gayatri Chaven tested for the Seal of Biliteracy during their junior years. They will receive the honor upon graduation in June 2019. 

Fondrevay, who speaks French, Spanish and English, said it is rewarding to know she’s “reached a certain level in language skills.”

“I love learning languages, so it is satisfying to know that I am in fact improving,” she said.

Fondrevay grew up speaking French at home with her parents and grandparents. She has been practicing Spanish since her freshman year. 

Chavan earned the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish and Hindi. She said she started learning Spanish in third grade and has “always been exposed to Hindi at home through music or movies.” 

“It feels really good to know that I’m proficient in these languages,” Chavan said. “Grammar structures are super interesting to me… It also takes a lot of work to become proficient in other languages, so I like having the certification.”

Glenbrook North student Anya Eydelman, also a junior, will receive the Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation for Russian and Hebrew. She has been speaking Russian her whole life and first started learning Hebrew in kindergarten. 

Eydelman said she looks forward to being able to put the certification on her resume. 

“It is a measurement of my ability to speak three languages,” she said. “Instead of saying I speak multiple languages, I have proof that I do.”

One thing all three students agreed on was their ability to use the Seal of Biliteracy post-graduation. Eydelman hopes to pursue international business; Fondrevay, international studies; and Chavan looks forward to continuing to broaden her global perspective.

Seal of Biliteracy testing is held at the high schools in the fall and spring. Students do not need to be enrolled in a language class in order to test. 

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Seal of Biliteracy testing readies students for college, beyond