Episode 82 – You Are Invited to… Prove Your Language Skills.

Episode 82 Prove Your Language Skills It's About Language
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
Episode 82 - You Are Invited to... Prove Your Language Skills.
/

“We really do recognize language learning takes time and it’s important to not only recognize but document the benchmarks along the way, because any amount of language we have is useful. It’s just useful for different purposes.”

Perhaps you have a heritage language in your past to tap into for your future (a discussion I focused on in Episode 81 with guest Joy Peyton). Perhaps you have studied a new language in school. Perhaps you have a new friend or a new location — across the world or right in your community — with a language new to you that you are picking up because you newly care to know it.

Language is a powerful tool, opening connections and opportunities as no other human activity and skill can. Knowing how well you know how to speak, listen, read, and write in a new language is an exciting incentive to grow in skill — and your skill related to standards used around the world by educational institutions, businesses, organizations, and governments can open doors to certifications, degrees, employment, and experiences that change your life.

I invited Linda Egnatz back to bring to you an invitation to consider how you can measure and share your language skill level to support your personal and professional goals. Linda is Excecutive Director of the Global Seal. You can learn more specifically about that assessment from our conversation in Episode 7. You can also hear Linda’s insights into how understanding our skill with language is an important need in our country and world: listen to Episode 62 to be inspired in your own language journey. Check out her bio here.

Linda shares many facets of the invitation to you to understand where you stand in your language skills. Hear why you should care, how you go about assessing your skills, in what ways your skill information can be shared with those who can open doors of opportunities to you, how you stay sharp, where to find the standards that those around the country and world that work with languages use to measure growth and expertise.

Turning first to adults, and what proof (assessments) are available for you, we take a look at the Global Seal, for which Linda is director. I’m strongly encouraging you adults who are no longer in school to revive your language and prove your skill — to yourself, first and and foremost, and then to the world. Who knows what new opportunities and joys can come from it? Take a look on that site. You’re invited to try out a test to see how it feels, or sign up to take one if you’re ready to dive in. The Global Seal test is free and results in registered certification at certain levels of language control. What a deal! You can see why I am encouraging you!

Students have assessment opportunities in their schools. On behalf of their opportunities, ask. Ask again. If a young person you know has a language in their lives that is not taught in school, they can still gain documentation of their skill. It might be the Global Seal. It might be a state seal of biliteracy: ask the school what options there are for that seal. Ask about assessments like Avant STAMP or LTI, which can be given for languages both in courses and those that are not taught in courses. Depending on the child’s situation, ask about courses, too, including Advanced Placement.

There are lots of options! They are worth checking out!

Taking action is really all you need. But if you are curious about the standards to which Linda refers, you can check out various definitions on the website of the national language education organization ACTFL. For the idea of the division of language into four skills, or of the levels of proficiency of language (progressive divisions that describe what we can do with our language), check out the Proficiency Guidelines and the World Readiness Standards. If you want to learn more about how we approach using language in our interaction with other human beings, what we label “modes,” check out the Performance Descriptors. If you are into checklists (I sure am!), take a look at the Can-Do Statements. These documents are useful no matter where you live, but if you are reading and listening from Europe or in educational areas that use the CEFR, you can check out those language frameworks here, and, if you wish, compare them to the ACTFL standards here. You can also learn much about the professional standards and use of them across many governmental and business agencies at the ILR website.

Cherish your languages. Enjoy and grow them. Connect with people, and connect with opportunities. Encourage your own excellence by using tools that illuminate where you are on the pathways that only language can open for you.

Enjoy the journey and enjoy the podcast.

Scroll down for full transcript.

If you've never done #cliftonstrengths, yourself or with your team, don't wait any longer.  Norah Jones of FLUENCY CONSULTING is the one and only to do it! It's all about your super powers: finding & using them to affect positive change in the world. What's not to love?!

Elizabeth Mack
Founder and CEO / Freestyle Languages

Testimonial

Yes, @NorahLulicJones definitely has the talent of "bringing out" the best in others or allowing them to showcase themselves in the best light! Thank you for directing the spotlight on others who have great stories and talents to share with others. 

Lisa Fore

Testimonial

Your podcasts are exceptionally relevant and applicable, thought-provoking and insightful, easy-to-follow and enjoyable!  

Paul Sandrock
Senior Advisor for Language Learning Initiatives / ACTFL

Testimonial

You have an immense talent to draw the best from your participants. 

Richard Brecht

Testimonial

Norah knows how to LISTEN - she really "hears" the message - and the interview is richer because of it.  New questions come from the hearing. 

Terri Marlow

Want to hear more? Access previous episodes, and get to know the wonderful people I talk with through the It’s About Language page, or by clicking on the Podcast tab above. You can also find this week’s episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

As a certified Gallup Strengths coach, I can provide you or your organization personalized coaching to discover and build on your strengths.

I provide workshops, presentations, and talks that inspire and engage through powerful language insights, and I pair those insights with practical applications for the lives of educators, learners, businesses, and faith-centered organizations. I’d love to share ideas with your organization or group, and develop an event tailored to your objectives.

Click here to start a conversation.


Transcript

0:00:00.1 Norah Jones: In episode 81 we took a look at you and in your heritage. Looking back, what language or languages and culture do you have in your background, what do they mean for your present, how might they serve you in the future? In this episode, we’re gonna take a look at, how do you know what you know with regard to your language, how do you measure your expertise in your language, and when you do measure it, how do others know and what difference might that make in the opportunities that you have in your life because you’ve been able to measure what you know in your language? So let’s take another look at you, let’s bring that heritage and other studies forward and take a look with Linda Egnatz today, how to measure that and what the impact is for your future.

[music]

0:00:58.4 Norah Jones: Hi, I’m Norah Jones. Welcome to It’s About Language. So what is language all about? Well, it’s about learning and sharing, opening doors in education, work and life. Language is about creating communities and creating boundaries. It’s all about the mystery of what makes us human. So our conversations will explore that mystery and the impact of what makes us human. It’s about language in life, it’s about language at work, it’s about language for fun. Welcome to the podcast.

0:01:33.7 Chaz Volk: Hi, my name is Chaz Volk. You haven’t heard from me in a long time. In fact, if you go all the way back to Episode 46, you’ll know that I am the podcast producer for this very podcast that you’re listening to. I’ve had the honor of serving Norah Jones for some time now. The reason why I’m making this guest appearance very quickly here on the episode is because this is my very last episode producing this podcast for Norah Jones and Fluency Consulting as a brand, and it is an incredibly bitter-sweet moment for me as I wonder if it’s a bitter-sweet moment for any of you? Since 2021 when I met Norah, I have had the opportunity to learn from her, to grow with her and to realize that Norah is an incredibly giving person, which is ironic because Norah decided to title my episode “The Go Giver.”

0:02:37.8 Chaz Volk: She called me the giver when in fact she is the giver. She has witnessed a lot of journeys that I have personally gone through. For example, I have learned to be the entrepreneur I am today. She also has witnessed me become more observant as a Jew. Norah Jones gifted me something incredible, which was the hand-written Shema, which is in Judaism, our holiest prayer. Framed in gold, it was originally crafted in Jerusalem itself, so it really is an authentic Holy Scripture that was written for me. She gifted that for me recently as a thank you and as an encouragement for my cultural dive. I wanted to personally insert this note to say, thank you, Norah. Thank you for encouraging the growth of not just my business but the other businesses that have been a part of this amazing podcast. And thank you for your friendship. Till next time.

0:03:40.0 Norah Jones: So, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting a chance to connect up again with Linda Egnatz. And Linda, thank you very much for taking my call today. I appreciate it.

0:03:49.0 Linda Egnatz: You’re very welcome.

0:03:50.7 Norah Jones: Linda, I’m looking to connect up with you. I have brought to the attention of my listening audience, again, the nature of heritage language, heritage culture, looking at their past and also determining the interaction of heritage into their future. And one of the things that we’ve been engaged in, you and I and in the various podcasts that have been coming up this last two years, is so what opportunities come from knowing language, what sort of access to the world, individually, community, comes through language? There are, through Seals of Biliteracy, which I’m focusing on at this particular podcast, ways of proving one’s linguistic level of skill. Can you begin, for the listening audience, reviewing what it is that Seals of Biliteracy, or however you’d like to redefine it, are helping people to place a label on their level of control of a language.

0:05:08.9 Linda Egnatz: It’s a great question and one that I answer frequently. And I think at the basic level we all kind of think about languages as, “Oh, I know such and such a language” or “I can speak fill in the blank language.” But when you begin to actually think about using that language or having it recognized for college placement into a course or for employment purposes, there needs to be more gradation, and I often think about when someone finds out that I’m bilingual or multilingual, they ask, “Well, are you fluent?” And I always have to pause because I know what I don’t know, and yet someone listening to me might think, “Yes, I was fluent,” but I know what I can’t do, so I don’t, I can’t… I’m not a native speaker in that language.

0:06:05.0 Linda Egnatz: And so I think that’s what the Seal of Biliteracy do. At a basic level they provide a measure, and for the most part, that measure is based on the ACTFL scale of proficiency, which has some broad categories. And in the realm of the Seal of Biliteracy the first category would be a novice level, so it’s a beginning learner who’s really not independently using the language yet, and that level does not qualify for any Seal of Biliteracy. The next level is what we refer to on the ACTFL scale as intermediate, and it does have some sort of in-betweens.

0:06:43.9 Linda Egnatz: It has an intermediate low, an intermediate mid and an intermediate high. And across the states for the State Seal of Biliteracy, as well as within the program that I direct, The Global Seal of Biliteracy, that intermediate zone is where the Seal of Biliteracy begin to be awarded. And that’s because at that level, we call our first level of certification in the global seal functional fluency. So in that level of intermediate level language you’re functional, you can get by. So in the job space that might mean you could be a receptionist, you could be a tour guide that has a memorized spiel and answers frequently answered questions like, where’s the bathroom? Or where do I buy souvenirs? Or whatever that tour guide might need to do. But it’s also someone who could be the banker or the mortgage lender.

0:07:39.0 Linda Egnatz: It’s someone who could provide some directions, give a simple description, ask and answer some basic questions and really survive functionally in the language. And we talk about that person as being someone who could be understood by a sympathetic native speaker. That means someone who’s willing to try hard to understand, even if there are grammatical errors or the wrong vocabulary word was chosen, [laughter] or that person maybe just needs to connect some of the dots that are missing. And so I think at that level, we don’t wanna say it’s all or nothing, that you have to be completely fluent to use your language. Language skills, even at the very polite novice level, if I can travel and use please and thank you, that goes a long way toward creating connections in human relationships. But the more you know the better.

0:08:35.2 Linda Egnatz: And so we want to do a couple of things with the seals. The first is we want to then document it so a student could be easily placed into a university program so they can continue that language journey to a higher level so that next level on the ACTFL scale is advanced and that person is where a language teacher would be certified. That’s where you would find, most likely most translators are somewhere in that space or above. And so at that level language is much more nuanced. You can handle the situations you don’t expect and that, it just grows. But we don’t want students to stop at that first level. And so with the Global Seal and some of the state seal programs as well, there are more than one level of achievement, and we think that’s important because again, how much language you can use does vary and its purposes vary, but the more we acquire, the better it gets.

0:09:39.0 Linda Egnatz: And so we don’t wanna just say, one and done, and thank you, congratulations, I guess you don’t need to learn any more language, there’s nothing… And so with the Global Seal, we actually have three tiers of certification. We have a higher one that we call professional fluency. Because we really do recognize language learning takes time and it’s important to not only recognize but document the benchmarks along the way, because any amount of language I have is useful. It’s just useful for different purposes.

0:10:11.0 Norah Jones: Phenomenal. Now, focusing for just a moment on those that are looking at heritage, how do heritage speakers of say, I would say young adults and older ones that are listening, that they themselves or neighbors that they know or groups in a community that they’re aware of, how do they go about discovering how they, again, prove their language skill, and very nicely said, at the various levels for which they may wish to prove it depending on their desired usage of language. How do they go about that?

0:10:56.7 Linda Egnatz: Well, if they’re an individual language learner… And there are lots of them out there. There are people who have acquired language along the way. If it’s a heritage language, they might have got it from their parents or in going to a heritage language School Program on Saturdays. Potentially, they spent summers with their grandparents in another country or they’re just interested in their heritage and are working on dual lingo. So there’s a number of ways that we acquire language, all of them great, there isn’t a bad way to acquire language. But if I’m an adult and I’m not in an official program, then it really is important for me to maybe take time to measure my language skills.

0:11:42.8 Linda Egnatz: First of all, I might be able to use that language skill in my employment and get a language pay differential, so there’s that. But more importantly, some of it’s just your own need to know. I mean, I’m curious, well, do I have enough language to do? Some of us tend to underrate and undervalue what we can do, and we might be surprised when we actually take an assessment test. And so one of the things that the Global Seal of Biliteracy does is we have two different pathways to get language certification. We have our group pathway, which is typically what an employer does when they want to test their employees, or a school or a university does when they’re going to test their students, but we also offer an individual pathway to that language certification.

0:12:31.7 Linda Egnatz: And that can be done with any number of different tests that are out there, and a test that is measuring for a Seal of Biliteracy includes both, you know, two languages, by the term bi part, and then the literacy part means that it’s not just speaking and listening, it’s also reading and writing. And not all, but many of the tests that we use actually provide you a score in each of those four skill areas. And if I’m a language learner and I want to level up and improve my language, that’s really helpful to know, like, wow, my listening skills are off the chart or I can really read, you know, that’s something I can do very well in French, but putting it together, the vocabulary I know in a grammatical sentence, is not so easy. And I think it’s important for me as a language learner to use that information, what we would call an education formatively as a way to sort of say, okay, here’s some coaching, this is what I need to work on next, because that’s the area that I might be weak in.

0:13:35.7 Linda Egnatz: But I also get to celebrate that stray, so maybe that high reading skill was in the advanced range even though the speaking maybe is way down in that novice level range. And that’s important for people to know, because different jobs or purposes might require something different. If I just want to read for enjoyment, maybe that’s okay, but if I want to document my language for more money, then maybe it’s… Then that’s an important piece to take. And a test can do that for you. And then, the Global Seal will take that test score and turn it into a serial numbered language certificate, credentialing what you’re able to do, we’ll describe it in employer terms and you can add it to your resume or CV or even to a LinkedIn profile, and now officially own that language that is important to you.

0:14:31.2 Linda Egnatz: And as a heritage learner, that’s a part of your identity and it’s also a nod of acknowledgement and appreciation to your parents, your grandparents, and your forebears in terms of where you’ve come from. But it’s also useful. And so I think we look at it in a number of different sort of valuable ways, but it’s certainly doable and you can have it done in as little as two or three weeks, test and certificate. So it’s not an impossible proposition.

0:15:05.7 Norah Jones: It sounds so powerful, because it’s a process that it sounds like it’s easy to understand, and this registration of the result, the certification and the information that’s provided in the language, and as you mentioned, of an employer, is quite extraordinary. Let’s take a look at what languages we might be talking about, and are we talking about something that is limited to the United States, or are we talking about something that has global implications for adult Heritage, or other? But I’m so focused on the Heritage folks right now to be able to follow through with this learning and certification.

0:15:54.4 Linda Egnatz: Well, I think at the base, Global is definitely the word to use when we’re talking languages. Languages are global and they connect us in interesting ways, whether it’s virtually or face-to-face through travel or visits or something else. And so, when we look at the heritage space, at the Global Seal we’re able to provide certification and documentation in over 130 different languages. And we are Global in the sense that we have already issued the Global Seal of Biliteracy in 13 different countries, I think, and counting. In Asia, at Latin America, obviously all 50 US States and Europe. And UK, we’re gonna be… And so, it’s really an exciting piece, because you’ll see individuals that have a language skill but have never taken a test and excited to document that. But we also look at the sort of the space… When you’re talking about international recognition, one of the things that’s important is that this ACTFL scale that I described previously isn’t necessarily the scale that’s going to be used in other countries.

0:17:08.0 Linda Egnatz: And so, the Global Seal also does a certification process using the CEFR or what’s called the Common European Framework of Reference, which is basically the Council of Europe or the EU, and how they look at language and measuring it. And it’s been used for a long time, because in Europe it’s a little bit more… The countries are a little more like sizes of states, and so there is much more fluidity when a worker or an employer is moving from one country to another.

0:17:40.9 Linda Egnatz: But now important level of language skill is important to employers, because it can determine how well does that person interact with someone else on the job or another customer or client. And so, I think as an individual heritage learner, so for example, in my State of Illinois, our most popular language after English and Spanish is Polish. We have a huge Polish population, we have Polish speaking communities, but we also have lots of interaction with Poland and Sister Cities in Poland.

0:18:11.9 Linda Egnatz: And I think that that piece allows you to sort of broaden your own personal connections and to become more active in a heritage community. So, I don’t know if I completely answered that question or if I went off the target, but if you have a heritage language, celebrate it because you might be surprised, you might take that summer… Like, take a summer course in your native country. You know, there’s lots of things you can do.

0:18:41.0 Norah Jones: So many things.

[music]

0:18:46.8 Norah Jones: I’d like to do a shout out to a supporter of my podcast, Avant Assessment. Avant Assessment is also the sponsor of the Global Seal of Biliteracy, and so the commitment to assessment as a measurement of skill is all baked into what Avant Assessment does. Thanks Avant Assessment for being a supporter of my podcast and for the special way of measuring what we can do in our lives with our languages.

[music]

0:19:22.4 Norah Jones: Do you have a story that you enjoy, an experience with an individual or some group you’ve worked with anywhere in the world? Because you travel quite a bit on behalf of Global Seal, where you’ve seen lights go on, changes and opportunities open.

0:19:42.1 Linda Egnatz: Yeah, lots of them, lots of them. I mean here in the US it’s been a joy working with some of those heritage language schools that meet on Saturdays or Sunday afternoons. They oftentimes sort of exist in a silo. The teachers, imagine there’s not… There’s very little pay, sometimes it’s volunteer, and they’re there every Saturday for 20 years while those children are growing up, and it’s an amazing commitment and passion to keep that heritage alive. And so I’ve had the joy of working with a number of those communities.

0:20:21.3 Linda Egnatz: I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of those schools. I’ve visited a Czech School in Chicago, a Bulgarian school in Seattle, and it’s really exciting. And I’ve had opportunities to be in both the Czech and Bulgarian embassies because those countries are really excited that their expats are passing on the language, but also the culture, the heroes, their art, their literature. And so all that’s always been special. I’m working on some projects now with the heritage community in UK, again, when they’ve immigrated to a new country there’s concerns of how do we prevent the language from being lost and how are we working to preserve it.

0:21:09.6 Linda Egnatz: And I have an opportunity to work with a group, with an Arabic group that’ll be testing for the Global Seal this fall in Poland recently. And working with the Polish community there who’s also welcoming their own group of Ukrainian immigrants that are bringing a language and dealing with the challenge of integrating those 3 million plus Ukrainians into their schools. Then I saw, I visited a school where we were testing for the global seal of Biliteracy, and on the wall there were images of different things, school supplies or the water fountain and the nurses’ office, and it was labeled both in Ukrainian and in Polish. And so looking at where language comes to play and how we can support it and encourage it and applaud it is just a joy.

0:22:02.6 Norah Jones: That’s phenomenal. I appreciate it very much. The question I have for you next is, let’s turn to the listener that’s like, okay, I want to… I wanna take advantage of this. I wanna find out where my language level is. I want, I think it’s good enough to maybe even place per your initial descriptor, or I would like to encourage a friend of mine. How do you go about it?

0:22:37.6 Linda Egnatz: So we would go start, for the Global Seal of Biliteracy, which is available to adults, those state seals, as important as they are are generally only available to high school seniors. So if you’re not a high school senior any longer, the Global Seal is a great option for you. And so it starts with our website, which is http://www.theglobalseal.com. And there is a… Right in the navigation menu there is an apply button, which is basically going to get you the information you need for your next steps. There’s also a referral there where you can select a language and get a referral for a test. So that’s something that will be available to you. We have a qualifying test page also in navigation where it would take you to, let’s say you could… There’s a test finder, so that’s another tool you can use.

0:23:34.4 Linda Egnatz: You can pick the language that you want to test in. So let’s say you wanna test in Arabic and you click on that little button and it’s gonna show you all the different tests that we have that have been qualified to test Arabic in four skills, speaking, reading, listening and writing. And it will take you to a summary of what does that test look like. It has 25 listening questions and 25 reading questions. It’ll also have a link to the test website. And that’s really important because most test websites will give you more details and they oftentimes have a practice test so you can see how it goes or see what it’s like if you’re intimidated or how to prepare for your test. So we also have some of those kinds of resources. Additionally, on our website we have resources for language learners.

0:24:27.0 Linda Egnatz: So let’s say I know my other skills are pretty good, but I wanna work on my writing skills. And so we actually have some sort of how-to videos of like, here’s ways to study and level up your writing skills on your own and different things that you can do. So we really do wanna support that. And a great example of what adults did, in this past July, the Global Seal partnered with Avant Assessment and the Chambers of Commerce and the mayor’s office of Eugene, Oregon, because the University of Oregon was hosting the World Athletic Championships, with either track or field type activities. And this world athletic Championship had never been held in the US before and Eugene is not a large city [chuckle], and they were concerned about how might they be able to welcome the world to Eugene.

0:25:22.8 Linda Egnatz: And so we partnered with them and with the airport and the Travel Bureau and other entities and we tested, number of adults, I think it all totaled in 28 different languages, to become global guides. And they were onsite volunteers at the event, they were onsite volunteers at the airport to meet and greet people. We used a QR code so if there wasn’t a person in person, there was a QR code where they could go to a virtual app we created where there would be someone through text or video messaging that could also support their language. And so we found a number of these adults, many of them expressed that same concern, like well, I don’t know if I’m good enough.

0:26:08.9 Linda Egnatz: But most of them not… We only had… I think there were only two that didn’t qualify at one of our levels of certification and some qualified in more than one. And they were so excited to use this heritage language to meet and greet and help assist people from their native speaking countries from all over the world. So we had individuals from Africa and Latin America and Europe and Asia that had come in and were excited, there’s somebody that speaks my language, and it was pretty exciting.

0:26:43.7 Norah Jones: Sounds wonderful. It’s encouraging just to hear you talk about it. For a moment then, let’s turn to the other kind of seal that you’ve referred to. Let’s say that there’s an adult listening that knows of a young person in their own family or in their community, or however they might know this young person. What are the methods for young people, both of heritage language background, but also of those that are formally learning a language in school for, as a new one, to be able to receive such a sense of where their language level lies and how to describe it to themselves into the world?

0:27:31.8 Linda Egnatz: So if you know a young person that speaks a language and you think they might also be able to potentially read or write that language at some level, it can start with as easily as a test. That young person can test with their school, their school may already have some testing available. For example, the college board advanced placement test, that’s only available in six languages, but that’s very commonly done in, certainly in high schools. So that may be one option, but there are a number of other tests that I mentioned that are also appropriate to learners. And typically, we see this skill at the level of certification begin in the middle school level. In fact, we’ve had middle school students that have tested in that advanced range in all four skills.

0:28:25.1 Norah Jones: Wow.

0:28:25.7 Linda Egnatz: Because they’re in a heritage language learning program or in a dual language or immersion program. And we’re really excited to start that pathway, remember, we have those three credentials, so we’re gonna keep the carrot out there for them to continue that language learning journey. But they have the opportunity, they could potentially test with their schools, if they’re a high school senior that might be able to take advantage of that additional sort of what we refer to as a State Seal of Biliteracy. That is always open to those public schools who have opted in, but in some states they also will include a student that is in a private school program, although not all. Or they can also choose the Global Seal of Biliteracy and it won’t matter what grade they’re in, just that they have those same language skills that I described earlier.

0:29:16.3 Linda Egnatz: And so there’s a number of different ways, and what we like to think of is, even the more the merrier. If they’re in a state that has a state seal, but they’re already learning their language and have some great language skills, maybe you can give them a benchmark award and recognize them earlier, keep them on that journey by keeping them excited. When you tell someone they’re good at what they do, they continue to do it. And so that might be another option. So yes, absolutely, the same process that works for an adult can work for a younger learner, but if they’re in a program that has something available to them with their school, that’s another opportunity to be recognized.

0:29:56.1 Norah Jones: Fantastic. What kind of costs are involved with some of the scenarios you have presented to the listeners today?

0:30:05.3 Linda Egnatz: Well, the state seals by legislative law, as well as the global seal, in terms of the certification of the language skills, are all free, so there’s no cost to the actual certificate or the credential or the Seal of Biliteracy, if the state… If it’s a state program. The cost does come into play with the cost of testing. There are tests that are available in the $20 to $25 range, so that’s an incredible return on investment, considering you could earn a global seal and add it to a LinkedIn profile. So that’s a great tool. It can… Certainly, we’ve had students with their global seal use it to, not just for advanced placement into second and third-year college programs allowing for an easy major or minor in the future, but also for scholarships. So there’s a great return on investment for having that kind of Seal of Biliteracy. There’s also the opportunity to take that and then be able to use that as a springboard to your next step. So if I’m a heritage learner, maybe that… We’ve had heritage learners that with their documentation of their language skill, be accepted into universities in Europe, where, by the way, tuition is much more affordable. [laughter]

0:31:29.7 Norah Jones: Yeah.

0:31:30.4 Linda Egnatz: So there’s lots of options that certainly those students can take advantage of.

0:31:35.9 Norah Jones: That’s fantastic. Thank you so much for expressing that because sometimes that’s where people are concerned about the expenses and the… This is an extraordinarily affordable opportunity to enter into what can be an extremely lucrative outcome. Linda, what other things… What’s some of the final words that you would like to make sure that the listeners who are interested in this concept of proving their language skills and being able to apply them effectively need to hear from you with your skills and knowledge that you have that you’re bringing today.

0:32:17.7 Linda Egnatz: I think probably the first and maybe the most important is as a language learner that’s either excited about continuing to grow your language or proud of what you’ve acquired, you should know what that level is. And so I think just testing is important, just so you have an external view of where your skills are, and I think it’s also… It’s important for discovery purposes because sometimes I think I’m good at something and maybe I’m better than I thought, or maybe it shines a light on something I was sort of ignoring, like my French speaking skills. And so I think one of the things that that can lead to the test is just gives you information. It tells you where you are in each of those skill areas, and many of the tests also provide some, what we would call an education metacognitive strategies.

0:33:11.9 Linda Egnatz: So these are just simple suggestions and tips on how to improve, like “What do I do to get to the next level? Maybe I should use more complex sentences or be a little more organized in my writing or maybe I should maybe use more vocabulary, pick the fancy word over the simple one that I repetitively used.” And so I think that, first of all, it gives you that information. And then there is the added bonus that depending on your level, you can get a certificate that might turn into more money. We think about, for example, in law enforcement there’s incredible pay differentials for those who have language skills. In Medicine the American Nursing Association says nationally, it’s about a 7% pay differential, which could add up to $10,000 or $15,000 more on my salary a year. So yeah, language recognition is worth it.

0:34:10.6 Norah Jones: Sounds wonderful. Give the website again for the Global Seal, and I know that folks will go there for a variety of insights as well as opportunities to practice and learn about the tests.

0:34:23.1 Linda Egnatz: So it’s http://www.theglobalseal.com.

0:34:30.3 Norah Jones: Thank you very much, Linda. This has been extremely helpful, I know, to the listeners and I look forward to them taking advantage of their language skills and getting the excitement to be able to grow them further. Appreciate your help today. Thank you so much.

0:34:45.2 Linda Egnatz: Thank you for listening.

0:34:46.1 Norah Jones: Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed and profited from this invitation to consider that when you look at the languages in your life, be they heritage languages that you can continue or languages that you have learned in school or a combination that you feel invited to measure those for your well-being and also for society’s well being. Take a look at how languages investment helps your life and helps us all, and thank you for bringing those languages into the world to make it a more hopeful better place. Until next time.

Become a Sponsor

Leave a Reply