Wilga Rivers Award

Leadership in Postsecondary World Language Education

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ACTFL Wilga Rivers Award for Leadership in World Language Education (Post-Secondary)

Wilga Rivers
Wilga Rivers

The Wilga M. Rivers Award honors the memory of an internationally renowned scholar and author, and one of the first women to be appointed to a full Professorship at Harvard. She was a perennial member of TESOL and a recognized national and international authority on the psychological and linguistic aspects of language teaching. She was the author and co-author of 13 books and nearly 80 articles on various aspects of language teaching.

Evidence of the nominee's leadership should consist of a record of active participation in the activities of various world language organizations. This would include not only membership and holding office but also work on committees, significant publications, conference presentations, and other organizational activities. One award may be made annually to a postsecondary world language educator or administrator. The recipient will receive 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 documents to follow, signed by a nominating ACTFL member. The cover letter should include a record of special honors and awards received and a brief description of innovative curricular programs that the nominee has developed.
    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 and indicating the nominee's excellence as a teacher and/or professional leader in world language education.
    4. In the case of a nominee who is in a supervisory position, dossier may include supporting letters from those who work under the nominee's supervision.
    5. Other supporting documentation not to exceed 10 pages (e.g., photos, artifacts from teaching, etc.) that provides evidence of leadership in world language education (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 (Checklist)

  • The candidate must be a current ACTFL member and have been a member for at least the last three years.
  • The candidate must have a minimum of five years teaching experience 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Committee members rate and rank the dossiers using the rubric and return their ratings and rankings to the Committee Chair by the date specified.
  • At the discretion of the Committee, the award may or may not be presented during a given year.

View The Evaluation Rubric

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PDF View Evaluation Rubric

Wilga Rivers Award Rubric