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UAB Launches Global Seal of Biliteracy Program for Anyone in the Community

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People in the University of Alabama at Birmingham community who speak another language can now earn a Global Seal of Biliteracy, an internationally recognized proficiency credential. (Adobe Stock)

By Shannon Thomason | UAB News

People in the University of Alabama at Birmingham community who speak another language can now earn a Global Seal of Biliteracy, an internationally recognized proficiency credential.

The Global Seal recognizes and celebrates the achievements of students and professionals who demonstrate proficiency in two or more languages. The UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of World Languages and Literatures began offering the Global Seal of Biliteracy to its students in 2020 — the first university in Alabama to do so.

In an increasingly interconnected world, bilingual proficiency can open doors to academic, professional and personal opportunities. Now, with the launch of this program, anyone in the UAB or Birmingham community can attain it, says Krista Chambless, Ph.D., associate professor of French and Spanish.

Those interested in the distinction must earn qualifying scores on a standardized exam in the second language. Recipients will demonstrate their proficiency through a variety of assessments, including standardized tests, writing samples and oral interviews.

Having the Global Seal elevates people’s potential and equips them with a valuable credential that distinguishes them in a competitive job market and enhances their academic pursuits.

The Global Seal is recognized by leading employers worldwide, increasing the marketability of graduates and building UAB’s partnerships with multinational companies seeking multilingual talent.

By recognizing and nurturing biliteracy, UAB strengthens its commitment to global engagement and attracts a diverse student body, Chambless says.

“This marks a significant milestone in fostering a globally competent and multilingual learning environment,” Chambless said. “Biliteracy fosters intercultural understanding and communication, preparing our graduates to thrive in a diverse and interconnected world.”

The Global Seal program caters to diverse linguistic backgrounds and proficiency levels, offering multiple pathways to earn the seal. Dedicated faculty advisers will guide people through the program and provide personalized support. The program’s success hinges on collaborative efforts across campus.

“Working together, we can cultivate a campus that celebrates and values biliteracy, empowering not only our students but everyone in our community to become global citizens prepared to make a difference in the world,” Chambless said.