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EHS grads recognized for bilingual language proficiency

Aerial view of Kuhlman stadium with water tower in foreground.
EHS grads recognized for bilingual language proficiency

About one-third of the Edina High School (EHS) Class of 2019 will receive recognition for bilingual language proficiency with their diploma. This year, 213 seniors will be awarded a Bilingual or Multilingual Certificate or Seal for their achievement in Chinese, French, Latin or Spanish.

Students qualify by demonstrating proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing, based on the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. This spring marks the fourth year EHS has assessed and awarded language seals and certificates to graduates. The class of 2019 results are:

  • Bilingual Certificate - 107 students
  • Bilingual Gold Seal - 71 students
  • Bilingual Platinum Seal - 35 students
  • Multilingual Platinum Seal (proficiency in two language) - 2 students

“Edina High School seniors are outpacing the rest of the nation in their results,” said Isa Punchard, districtwide world language curriculum coordinator. “This speaks to the quality of instruction in our secondary World Language Department, which has rewritten its curriculum to be completely focused on performance towards proficiency.”

The original intent of legislation establishing the Bilingual and Multilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificates was to recognize not only world language students, but also native speakers of languages other than English. Punchard said the curriculum rewrite involved countless hours rewriting units and assessments, shifting focus from traditional textbooks to center instruction around authentic materials created by native speakers and for native speakers of languages. Graduates with a language certificate or seal who attend Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) may receive college credits.