Language students officially bi-literate

Senior Erick Soto read the results of the French Stamp exam he took, celebrating the fact that he was trilingual. Students at Har-Ber are able to take the Stamp test in English, Spanish, French, German, or Chinese. Passing the exam grants the seal of biliteracy, an official document symbolizing proficiency in one of the five languages.

“I obtained the seal of biliteracy in French and Spanish, so now I am trilingual,” Soto said.

Students who passed the exam engaged in serious preparation before the tests. Junior Jax Nalley, who can speak four languages, used a variety of methods to prepare for the Stamp test.

“I just studied a lot on my own. I’ve been studying Spanish for a really long time, and then I took some immersion classes too,” Nalley said.

Soto also prepared for the exam in many different ways. Despite the fact he already speaks Spanish, Soto needed to prepare for the reading and writing portions of the exam.

“I watched a lot of YouTube videos. I watched French TV shows and would turn on the subtitles, and I did my French homework because I am currently in French IV,” Soto said. “Last Spring Break I took a trip to France and met a lot of people that I am still close to, so they would help me prepare. With Spanish I speak Spanish with my family, but writing and reading was not my forte, so I had to practice with that.”

Senior Kate Bowden also obtained the seal of biliteracy in French. She also used several methods to prepare for the test, and believed the test was not extremely stressful.

“We prepared for the test in class by doing practice speaking and writing prompts. At home I reviewed past vocabulary that I thought would be useful for the test,” Bowden said, “The test isn’t timed so there’s not as much pressure which is really nice.”

Obtaining a seal of biliteracy can have numerous benefits for the students that are able to receive one. Having skills in multiple languages has become increasingly important in society, and many careers are looking for bilingual speakers.

“I’m hoping it will help with colleges and getting jobs, and it will prove to people that I speak the languages I say I do,” Nalley said.