Keylin González lives in Tecate, Mexico, and like many young ladies her age, she’s trying to stand out in a sea of students. She turned to language as a way to shine. González is part of the inaugural class receiving the Global Seal of Biliteracy in Baja, California, which recognizes dual-language proficiency.

“I felt very important and it is very valuable since I feel I can function in both languages,” said González.

The Global Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to students who demonstrate proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in two or more languages. For González, her knowledge of Spanish and English earned her the credential, an opportunity that was offered through a binational pilot program.

Related content: 5 literacy strategies for bilingual learners

The pilot program operates in Baja California and is possible because of the Binational Migrant Education Program, which is part of The Secretary of Public Education of Baja California. This allows the Global Seal of Biliteracy to recognize students that have earned their credential in Baja California. The pilot is offered at the secondary level and will likely expand into primary schools and high schools as it grows.

About the Author:

Molly Fisher is an accomplished educator and social entrepreneur with nearly 25 years of dedication to serving the needs of local communities through education, economic empowerment, animal welfare, and environmental program development. As an area specialist in Mexico, she has founded, directed, or redirected eight successful nonprofits and social enterprises across the country. Currently, she divides her time between directing the Baja California Seal of Biliteracy project at the Center for U.S.- Mexican Studies at UC San Diego in partnership with Educando and the Baja California Department of Education, as well as serving on the operational board of Human Connections in Nayarit, Mexico. Molly is an Indiana University graduate with a B.S. in Biology and a graduate certificate in Secondary Science Education and spent five years teaching in the classroom on both sides of the U.S. – Mexico border.