- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois is expected to soon be one of a handful of states that formally recognize students’ mastery of two or more languages.

State Board of Education Officials Announced Tuesday they’re moving forward with an initiative awarding students with a “Seal of Biliteracy” on high school diplomas and academic transcripts if a high level of proficiency in one or more languages besides English is met.

The initiative was authorized through legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn last summer. A 12-member legislative committee is tasked with reviewing the program’s proposed rules this fall.

If approved by the panel, Illinois will join states including California and New York in offering seals to graduating students this school year.

Illinois education officials hope that offering the biliteracy seal will inspire students to learn multiple languages.

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