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Bilingualism vs Biliteracy: What's the Difference?

What is the difference between the terms bilingual and biliterate? Are they interchangeable?

  • A person who is bilingual can fluently speak two languages.
  • A person who is biliterate can read and write proficiently in two languages.
  • A person who is biliterate is also considered bilingual, but a person who is bilingual is not necessarily biliterate.

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For more information on the Seal of Biliteracy, visit them on Facebook, Instagram, or the website. For California-specific information, visit the CDE's Website on the State Seal of Biliteracy.