Delaware has developed a certificate of multiliteracy to honor and recognize students with high levels of language proficiency in addition to English, Secretary of Education Susan Bunting announced Aug. 29.

The certificate applauds students for attaining high levels of language proficiency in multiple languages and also values native language proficiency for the 11,000 English learners in Delaware.

Students can use the certificate as a credential to help differentiate them as applicants for jobs, college entrance or the military.

"Delaware recognizes the hard work that goes into learning more than one language and we want to make it easier for employers and institutes of higher education to identify those who offer such valuable skills," Bunting said. "This certificate will help students promote their talents and also create a tangible reminder to all of us of the benefits of multilingualism."

Rep. Joe Miro was the prime sponsor of Delaware's Certificate of Multiliteracy bill, which was established by House Joint Resolution 4 and signed by Gov. John Carney on July 21. HJR 4 directs the Delaware Department of Education to establish the criteria and the process for awarding the certificates by Aug. 30.

Delaware's Certificate of Multiliteracy is modeled after the national Seal of Biliteracy, which is a national effort to have all states to recognize the importance of language learning as a critical career and workplace skill.

Delaware is the 26th state in the country to establish an award that honors and recognizes students with high levels of proficiency in languages in addition to English.