Biliteracy certificate program growing

A program that awards certificates to high school students who attain proficiency in two languages is growing.

Last year, 208 Kansas “Seal of Biliteracy” certificates were awarded. That number increased to 278 certificates in 2018, Regina Peszat, world languages consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education, told the State Board of Education on Tuesday. Languages represented included Spanish, French, German, Latin and Japanese. Peszat said she hoped to add American Sign Language next year.

Two students who earned certificates — Camryn Dunekack, a Kansas State University student who graduated from Great Bend High School and Alvaro Escobedo, who graduated from Salina South High School and attends Fort Hays State University — told the State Board of Education that proficiency in another language has helped them as students and in the workplace.

Escobedo said his language skills have helped him find a good-paying job as an interpreter as he earns his college degree.

More than 30 states have adopted similar biliteracy recognition.

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