ABOUT THE AWARD:
The award for the National Language Teacher of the Year is intended to elevate the status and the public profile of the language profession at the state, regional, and national levels by creating opportunities to recognize accomplished members of our profession. First and foremost, this process is designed to involve all of our state, regional, and national organizations in promoting the language teaching profession. Second, it is intended to create as many media opportunities as possible to increase the visibility and importance of language learning with the media, policymakers, and the general public. The award also recognizes best practices and excellence in the teaching and learning of foreign languages
The National Language Teacher of the Year process begins at the state level with the state language organizations selecting a top candidate each year whose application is then submitted to the regional level. The finalist for each of the five regions then competes at the national level. The process outlined below at each level is designed to facilitate the development of the portfolio used in the evaluation process by requiring certain items at each level of competition leading toward the complete portfolio required at the national level. This process is intended to incrementally add the required elements of the portfolio at each level to encourage broad participation while having sufficient evidence from candidates of their teaching accomplishments and ability to represent the language profession. ACTFL will supply the forms and samples needed so that candidates understand what is required at each level. In addition, there is a detailed explanation of the portfolio items on the ACTFL website.
SPECIFICS FOR SCOLT:
Each state may submit ONE candidate with endorsement from the state organization. State organizations may submit a candidate to only one regional organization. SCOLT has waived the registration fee for the state nominee participating in the selection process at the annual conference and will provide a $100 honorarium to each candidate.
SUBMISSION OF MATERIALS TO SCOLT:
State nominees must submit a portfolio to be received no later than January 15. Candidates are requested to submit their portfolios via email to Amanda Hajji, Awards Director, at email@example.com.
For all submissions, you will receive confirmation via e-mail immediately upon receipt.
Candidates are encouraged to use Google Drive to submit their portfolios.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that they have met the requirements included here when they submit their portfolio. The awards director does not review portfolios to make sure they meet the requirements listed below.
The following checklist contains all requirements for the application.
The first page must be the Nomination Cover Page, completed by an officer of the state language association (normally the president or executive director of the state association). Click here to download a pdf copy of the Nomination Cover Page. It is the candidate’s responsibility to secure this form from their state leadership.
- Five-hundred-word personal statement on the value of learning languages and developing cultural competence for all learners
- A digital photograph / headshot of the nominee to be used in highlighting candidates on social media and elsewhere prior to, during and after the conference
- One letter of recommendation from a professional colleague
- One letter of recommendation from a supervisor
- One letter of recommendation from a current or former parent or student
- A curriculum vitae of no more than five (5) pages
- Examples of Student Work (two individual examples) that reflect the goals of the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (5 C’s) These can be written examples or in a digital format
- Reflection on the student work not to exceed 4 pages (size 12 font, double-spaced) total for both examples the provides a written reflection about these student examples and how they:
- demonstrate current best practices of language teaching and learning, including the integration of the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (5 C’s);
- encourage the proficient use of the target language by the teacher and students;
- provide the effective use of feedback, including but not limited to rubrics.
- A one-page Contact Information Sheet containing names and addresses to notify the appropriate parties of the candidate’s selection as SCOLT World Languages Teacher of the Year. Click here to download a PDF of the Contact Information Sheet.
- A short biographical paragraph that can be used in either SCOLT or ACTFL publications. (This item does not count towards the page amount of the portfolio.)
- A 30 second audio recording answering the question, “What advice would you give a first-year teacher?” The Awards Director will provide guidance on the file type and where to submit this recording.
The entire portfolio (when submitted to ACTFL) must not exceed 30 pages. We assume that for the regional submissions, it should be between 20-25 pages. You may complete the rest of the pages after you are chosen as the SCOLT World Languages Teacher of the Year.
NOTE: Candidates will NOT be required to submit a video to SCOLT, but upon selection by SCOLT, the candidate will need to submit a video teaching segment to ACTFL. For ACTFL this includes a detailed lesson plan and a 20 minute continuous, unedited video segment of that lesson plan being used in an actual classroom setting that demonstrates target language communication and a variety of instructional strategies. The video should not be professionally produced or edited and should be filmed during the current academic year.
PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW AT THE CONFERENCE:
All portfolios will be made available electronically to the full selection committee, which is typically composed of past SCOLT Teacher of the Year winners, as well as higher education faculty. Portfolios will be carefully reviewed by the committee members. Nominees will be interviewed in person on Thursday afternoon of the annual conference. Because the ACTFL Teacher of the Year is not only a great teacher but also a spokesperson for our profession, the interview is an essential part of the selection process.
As part of the interview, the candidates will:
- answer 5-6 questions from the selection committee with a 2-3 minute response. The questions may cover such topics as: culture/standards in the classroom, professional involvement, leadership experience, and/or challenges and successes in world language teaching
- give the first 2 minutes of a ten minute mock speech or mock press conference to a civic group on an issue of your choice regarding current interest in national foreign language policy. Because candidates may not rely on notes during this speech presentation, it is a good idea to have rehearsed (though not necessarily memorized) your speech before your interview.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW:
The SCOLT World Languages Teacher of the Year selection will be named during the conference on Friday, March 24 at the SCOLT Opening General Session. SCOLT’s World Languages Teacher of the Year Representative will go on to represent our region at the ACTFL Convention in November, 2023. ACTFL covers all conference related costs for the regional nominees.
For additional guidelines and coversheet, see the Teacher of the Year link on www.actfl.org. If you need further help or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Amanda Hajji at firstname.lastname@example.org.