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New Program Gives Bilingual UO Students An Edge On Job Applications

Photo Courtesy of Hunter Sudek

The University of Oregon awarded 200 students with a Global Seal of Biliteracy, last week. The certification is the first time the university offered the program with the help of a Eugene company. 

Avant Assessment designs language proficiency tests that examines how well bilingual speakers can speak their native tongue and another language. The results can be used to earn certifications, like the Global Seal of Bilteracy.

The Global Seal of Biliteracy is a national organization that awards seals based on language competency. And having the credential can help job seekers stand out, as well as increase earning potential.

Credit Melorie Begay
Ana Cecelia Barajas poses with her Global Seal Certificate in Biliteracy. Barajas was one of 200 students who earned the certificate.

Ana Cecelia Barajas is one of the students who took advantage to of the program at the U of O.

“I found something that I’m passionate about and I think it’s a very useful skill especially in an ever globalizing world,” said Barajas who speaks both French and Italian. Through the program she earned a Gold Seal for both languages, meaning her fluency is workforce ready.

“Having the Global Seal of Biliteracy gives me something tangible to notice like okay this is what level I’m at. Then maybe after the program, then I can test myself and see just how much I’ve increased," she said.

Barajas said her language proficiency helped her score an internship as a culture curator for a marketing agency this summer and a full ride scholarship to study in Italy for a year.



Correction: An earlier version misidentified Barajas’ internship. She will be a cultural curator for a marketing agency not a museum curator.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.