Nelson Brooks Award

Teaching of Culture


ACTFL Nelson Brooks Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Culture

The Nelson Brooks Award recognizes a language educator who has made significant impact through the teaching of culture in the world language classroom and beyond.

Granted in celebration of the contributions of Nelson Brooks, this award honors a preeminent author and teacher whose work and writings changed the course of our profession. Although best remembered for his writings on the role of culture in world language education, his articles and books on the audiolingual approach to teaching world languages, published during the 1960s, contributed significantly to a movement that dramatically influenced second language instruction.

The Nelson Brooks Award was established in 1978 through the donation of $2,500 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., as a memorial to Nelson Brooks. Since 1995, the recipient has received a $500 cash award provided by ACTFL.

Procedures for Nomination

  1. Nominations and self-nominations may be made only by ACTFL members.
  2. The nomination dossier must include the following documents (in order):
    1. A simple cover letter introducing the nominee and the other dossier materials to follow, signed by a nominating ACTFL member.
    2. Curriculum vitae of the candidate (not to exceed 10 pages).
    3. No more than three letters of support clearly explaining the rationale for the choice of this individual (from colleagues, students, or others who have benefited from the nominee's teaching and/or contributions).
    4. Other supporting documentation not to exceed 10 pages (e.g., photos, artifacts from teaching, evidence of leadership, etc.) that documents evidence of excellence in teaching of culture in world language education at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels (see rubric for specific criteria and indicators).
  3. Complete nomination dossiers must be submitted to ACTFL in one PDF file by the deadline.
  4. No member or officer of the ACTFL Board of Directors may write a letter of support for any award nominee or actively shepherd the nomination of an award candidate. If a dossier packet is resubmitted that contains a support letter written prior to the establishment of these guidelines, that letter will be removed from the packet by the Committee Chair.
  5. No member or officer of the ACTFL Board of Directors, or contracted employee is eligible for nomination for any award while holding these positions.

Criteria for Eligibility

  • The Nominee is a current ACTFL member and has been a member for at least the last three years.
  • The candidate has a minimum of five years’ experience teaching language and culture with at least half of each year's assignment in the area of world language education.
  • Dossier includes introductory cover letter, CV, maximum of three letters of support, and supporting documentation combined in one PDF file.

Procedures for the Selection Committee

  1. The award selection committee will be chaired by a member of ACTFL, who will be appointed by the ACTFL Past President. The chair will serve in a non-voting capacity.
  2. As soon as possible after the deadline for submission of nominations, the Committee Chair will circulate copies of the nomination dossiers to members of the committee.
  3. Committee members rate and rank the dossiers using the rubric and return their ratings and rankings to the Committee Chair by the date specified.
  4. At the discretion of the Committee, the award may or may not be presented during a given year.
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PDF View Evaluation Rubric

Nelson Brooks Award Rubric