Thanks in part to the testimony of an Ohio State University freshman, the state of Ohio is joining more than 20 other states in rewarding graduating high school seniors who speak at least two languages.
Kate Greer, a German and History major at Ohio State, testified before the Ohio House Education committee last year when she was a senior at Hudson High School. She pushed lawmakers to adopt the Seal of Bilteracy, which can be attached to the high school transcripts or diplomas of students who show proficiency in a foreign language.
“Also, if you’re going right into the workforce, employers will be able to see you have that skill of being able to speak another language,” Greer says.
Greer says lawmakers always seemed open to adopting the seal.
“I actually got to talk in German with a couple of the state representatives, so that was reassuring,” she said.
Last month, Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 487, which requires the Ohio Board of Education to set standards for the Seal of Biliteracy. Greer says she hopes the board requires students to show proficiency in conversation, reading, and writing in their second language.
Ohio students begin receiving the designation next month.