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press releases

Chapel Hill, NC High School Spanish teacher Ken Stewart was named the first recipient of the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award.   The presentation was made at the 39th annual conference and exposition of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Baltimore, MD on November 18, 2005

Your recent item concerning the Measure 58 question to be voted on by Oregon residents in November should cause concern among citizens who support the concept of language learning and multilingualism in particular.  Even in today’s challenging circumstances, this issue is too important to allow economic considerations to prevail. 

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has announced the five regional finalists for the second annual ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award.  The winner will be announced at the November 17 Opening General Session of ACTFL’s November 16-19 conference in Nashville, TN.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages will focus on the increasing gap in critical language proficiency that has gained increasing attention in the U.S.  The association will convene its 40th Annual Conference and Exposition at the Convention Center in Downtown Nashville, TN from November 16-19, 2006.  At the forefront of the conference will be ACTFL’s Discover Languages public awareness initiative.  That campaign was launched one year ago to rally support for language education among the general public and to energize those in the profession to renew their efforts to promote language learning at the local level. 

For the first time, formal standards that can be used to develop curriculum for students learning Modern Standard Arabic have been published.  The 3rd Edition of Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century has been published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and includes guidelines for students at all levels studying 10 languages, including Chinese, Classical Languages, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish in addition to the new Arabic standards.  These student standards describe what students should know and be able to do K-16 with specific sample progress indicators for the end of grades 4, 8, 12, and 16.

The U.S. Department of Education today announced guidelines for current college students and high school seniors to apply for new Academic Competitiveness Grants and National SMART Grants for the 2006-07 academic year.  Students who completed rigorous coursework in high school or who are pursuing degrees in math, science and critical foreign languages are eligible for a portion of $790 million in new federal funding for higher education.

Dr. Kathleen M. Riordan of Springfield has been selected to receive the Nelson H. Brooks award for leadership in the foreign language profession by the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL). The honor will be presented to Dr. Riordan on March 31, 2006 during the organization’s annual conference at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

Rita A. Oleksak has been elected President-Elect 2006 of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Ms. Oleksak, who holds a B.A. degree in French and Spanish, a M.A.T. in Spanish and a M.Ed in Educational Administration, is the Foreign Language Director K-12 in Glastonbury, CT.  Previously, she was Supervisor of Foreign Languages K-12 in West Hartford, CT.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has announced the appointment of Sheri Spaine Long as Editor of the association’s award-winning quarterly scholarly journal, Foreign Language Annals. The journal is dedicated to expanding the awareness and understanding among language education professionals of current research, pedagogy and challenges facing the profession. Dr. Long takes over the position from Dr. Emily Spinelli, who has become Executive Director of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages will launch a major nationwide language education initiative at its 39th Annual Conference and Exposition at the Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency in BaltimoreMD from November 18-20, 2005.  Discover Languages will be a sustained campaign designed to heighten public awareness of the critical importance of language education and proficiency in the United States.  The program will build on the momentum achieved during the association’s 2005: The Year of Languages   initiative that celebrated the value of language learning throughout 2005.