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NYSSB Culminating Portfolio/ Project and Panel Presentation Information

New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB)
Culminating Portfolios/ Projects and the Panel Presentation(s)

Students may compile an English and/or World Language Portfolio as a culminating project in order to achieve the New York State Seal of Biliteracy designation. The English portfolio is aligned with the New York State ELA Next Generation Learning Standards. The World Language portfolio is composed of a multimodal project in either French, Latin, or Spanish aligned to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages and New York State Checkpoint C World Language learning standards.

English Project (portfolio) and Panel Presentation Information:

The English project/portfolio will only need to be completed by students who have not earned the required three points through coursework to demonstrate proficiency in English.  See the Criteria for Earning a NYSSB document for information on earning points to show proficiency. 

Components and Standards of the Project (portfolio):

The English student portfolio may consist of a culminating project, scholarly essay, or a portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in the New York State ELA Next Generation Learning Standards. To demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, applicants may submit one or more assignments from their 11th and/or 12th grade English course. Specific assignments.

A list of assignments that count toward the English portfolio can be found on the Student Checklist and Planning Guide document as well as in the NYSSB Schoology Course.  The Schoology course is where portfolio projects/ essays will be submitted. Students will be added to the Schoology course shortly after the application window closes. Directions on how to submit portfolio assignments can also be found within the course. Please include as many projects/ essays as possible to represent proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

Panel Presentation:  

Students completing an English Project/Portfolio as part of the English component will be required to discuss and present their English Portfolio during the panel presentation.  During the presentation, students should be prepared to discuss topics such as:

  • An overview of the essay/project;
  • The process/steps taken to prepare for and write the essay/paper;
  • The learning that took place as a result of completing the essay/project;
  • Your future goals as a Seal of Biliteracy candidate; and
  • The importance of learning more than one language.

World Language Portfolio and Panel Presentation Information:

All NYSSB candidates will present their World Language culminating project(s) to a panel for review. The role of the interview panel is to measure the student's knowledge of the project/essay topics and/or portfolios being presented and their proficiency in the target language. Students may be asked questions regarding the presented topic, the students’ process, personal feelings about the topic, and other questions the panel feels necessary to measure the student's knowledge of the topic and proficiency level.   

Components and Standards of the Portfolio:

French – The student portfolio for French biliteracy will consist of both writing and speaking samples.  It will contain one student sample of each of the four areas: interpersonal writing, presentation writing, interpersonal speaking, and presentation speaking. 

Latin – The student project for Latin biliteracy consists of student samples of interpretive and presentational forms of communication. 

Spanish – The student project for Spanish biliteracy consists of writing samples and speaking samples collected throughout the course of the year. It will contain one student sample in each of the following areas: interpersonal writing, presentational writing, interpersonal speaking, and presentational speaking. 

All World Language portfolio components will be submitted to the World Language teacher. Your World Language Teacher will serve as your NYSSB Advisor and will specify the contents of the portfolio.

Panel Presentation  

The panel will interview the candidate in the chosen language to measure interpretiveinterpersonal, and presentational skills. NYS has set the target level of proficiency at Intermediate-High based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (linked below). 

The Interpretive mode is defined as the receptive communication of oral, signed, or written messages. In simple terms, interpretive communication is reading, viewing, receiving, or listening. With the Interpretive mode, students who are at the Intermediate High level can consistently:

  • Follow the main message or storyline;
  • Follow the actions or flow of events;
  • Understand the use of various major time frames to express when something has happened or will happen; and
  • Understand conversations, discussions, and straightforward, descriptive, paragraph-length informational texts. 

The Interpersonal mode is defined as direct oral, signed, or written communication (face-to-face or remote) between individuals who are in personal contact. In simple terms, it is speaking and listening, signing and receiving, or writing back and forth with someone else. With the Interpersonal mode, students at the Intermediate High level can consistently:

  • Exchange information in conversations and some discussions on a variety of familiar and some concrete topics that the student has researched, using connected sentences that may combine to form paragraphs and asking a variety of questions, often across various time frames.
  • Interact with others to meet their needs in a variety of situations, sometimes involving a complication, using connected sentences that may combine to form paragraphs and asking a variety of questions, often across various timeframes.
  • Explain preferences, opinions, and emotions and provide advice on a variety of familiar and some concrete topics that they have researched, using connected sentences that may combine to form paragraphs and asking a variety of questions, often across various timeframes.

The Presentational mode is defined as productive communication using oral, signed, or written language. In simple terms, it is one-way speaking or signing (such as a speech) or writing (such as an essay). With the Presentational mode, students at the Intermediate High level can consistently:

  • Tell stories about school, community events, and personal experiences, using a few short paragraphs, often across various timeframes.
  • State their viewpoint on familiar or researched topics and provide reasons to support it, using a few short paragraphs, often across various timeframes.
  • Give detailed presentations on a variety of familiar topics and some concrete topics they have researched, using a few short paragraphs, often across various timeframes.