Lincoln-Way Language Teachers Help Dozens of School Districts Launch Seal of Biliteracy Program
Thursday, June 11, 2015

More than 40 teachers and curriculum administrators from dozens of suburban school districts attended a workshop offered by Lincoln-Way World Language teachers to learn how to launch the Seal of Biliteracy program in their districts.

In 2014, Lincoln-Way became the first school district in Illinois to pilot the Seal of Biliteracy program. The workshop provided participants with information on the eligibility requirements for students to attain the Seal of Biliteracy which is added to a high school students transcript and diploma to indicate proficiency in a second language, as well as how to implement a proficiency model to help students earn the recognition.

The workshop was led by Lincoln-Way World Language Department Chairs Carollyn Mushro and Peg Bobber. German teacher Aaron Raatjes and Spanish teacher Veronica Tylka-Shaw provided a session about what a language proficiency classroom looks and sounds like.

This was an extremely productive meeting to share our journey with other districts and offer leadership so that more students across the state can benefit from this program, said Peg Bobber, Lincoln-Way Language Department Chair for Lincoln-Way East and North. The Seal of Biliteracy has become the gold standard for biliteracy recognition and we are responsible to develop our curriculum in a way that helps students achieve the award.

Participant Tara Viehweg, a Lincoln-Way graduate and Spanish teacher from Crete Monee School District 201-U, said Lincoln-Way has been helpful in moving her district toward the Seal of Biliteracy program.
Viehweg said shell take the information from the workshop to help her revamp their curriculum for Spanish I students next year.

Joliet Township High School District 204 Curriculum Director Alberto Filipponi said District 204 is in the process of implementing the program for the 2015-2016 school year.

This was a really nice opportunity to continue collaborating with other districts, said Filipponi, adding that the workshop discussion helped clarify logistics around timelines and AP testing eligibility requirements.

The workshop attendees taught a variety of languages including Spanish, German, Latin, French, Italian, Mandarin, and Japanese, to name a few.

Participants represented Glenbard Township High School District 87, Oak Park and River Forest High School, Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Oswego High School, School District 308, Ridgewood Community High School, Oak Lawn Community High School, Crete Monee High school, Neuqua Valley High School, Waubonsie Valley High School, Batavia High School, Downers Grove North and South High Schools, Oak Forest High School, Tinley Park High School, Naperville District 203, Naperville North High School, Naperville Central High School, Andrew High School, Lake Park High School, Joliet Township High School, Mokena Junior High, Martino Junior High, and Liberty Junior High.