Melba D. Woodruff Award

Elementary World Language Program


ACTFL Melba D. Woodruff Award for Exemplary Elementary World Language Program

Melba D. Woodruff was a classroom teacher for over 40 years and it was in the classroom where she had her most profound impact. She encouraged her students to do their best, dream their dreams, and work hard to fulfill them. For many of her students Woodruff was more than their professor, she became their mentor and friend. In addition, Woodruff was a leader of the profession as an author and officer of many professional organizations.

In recognition of Woodruff’s dedication to the profession, this award was established in 2004 with funds from a series of national conferences on world language acquisition by children donated by Dr. Michael Evans and Dr. Rosemarie Benya to recognize an exemplary K-6 world language program. All types of elementary world language programs, including but not limited to FLES and immersion, are invited to apply.

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. Program narrative that addresses the award criteria from program teachers and administrators (not to exceed 10 pages).
    3. No more than three letters of support clearly explaining the rationale for the choice of this program (from colleagues, parents, students, or others who have benefited from the program’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 the program’s characteristics, curriculum and assessment, staff, and advocacy (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.
  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)

  • Dossier includes introductory cover letter, program narrative, 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

Melba D. Woodruff Award Rubric