2008 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year

Janet Glass

Dwight-Englewood School, Engelwood, NJ, NECTFL, Spanish and ESL

Ja_10pxnet Glass

There’s a Spanish proverb, ‘El hombre bilingüe vale por dos,’ or ‘The bilingual person is worth two.’ To me, this neatly states the value of knowing another language and culture. Although my Spanish program is a FLES [Foreign Language in the Elementary School] program and not a bilingual program, my students seem to have this wonderful double vision already. To be able to move comfortably in two worlds benefits both the individual and society.

I believe profoundly deeper multiculturalism results from the study of the culture and language. There is added value in capitalizing on this when students are young and attitudes are being shaped. The individual values of learning language and culture include wider communication, deeper multiculturalism, cognitive flexibility, enhanced self-esteem and, we might add, the enjoyment of world literature and employment benefits. How might these benefit society? Of course there is a link between national security and being multilingual. Learning language and culture, extensively and early, is a value whose time in these United States is past due.

2008 Hall of Fame Nominees

Jamin Lynch

Independence High School San Jose, CA

Juan Carlos Morales

Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Miami, FL

Betty Lotterman

Mounds View High School, St. Paul, MN

Kathryn L. Beppler

Evanston High School. Evanston, WY