Lucas Hoffman, OFLA President 2016-2017
French & Spanish Teacher, Sylvania Southview High School
Dear OFLA colleagues,
As the 2016-2017 academic year comes to an end, I’d like to look back at the good work that OFLA has accomplished this year. I also have a number of acknowledgements to make as well.
Last spring, we sent out a membership survey gathering information about your member needs and interests. In late summer, the OFLA board came together to reflect on your feedback in order to update our OFLA Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan. In an effort to combat teacher shortages in world languages, the OFLA board adopted a fourth objective as part of our Strategic Plan: Advocate to attract, support and retain highly qualified foreign language educators in individual committees specifically targeted your goals as they developed their projects for the year.
In addition, the Ohio Teacher of the Year Committee was very excited to announce Angela Garritano as the 2017 Ohio Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. She is an outstanding teacher with strong and warm support from her administration, parents and students. Continue reading
Beth Hanlon, OFLA President-Elect
Spanish Teacher, Oberlin High School
After a great “core strengthening” at the 2017 OFLA conference, the 2016-2017 school year will soon be behind us! I would like to take the opportunity to give you details of the upcoming OFLA year.
Changes in the OFLA Board
The OFLA Board’s May meeting was the last for board members that have supported the organization in so many ways for many years. We are very appreciative for their service to OFLA and know that they will continue to work with the world language teachers of Ohio in other capabilities. Continue reading
Julie Frye, OFLA Membership Chair
French Teacher, Lexington High School
This is a reminder to those of you who join/renew by means other than the OEA payroll deduction plan. You may have recently joined and/or renewed your OFLA Membership for the 2016-17 school year in order to attend the 2017 OFLA Annual Conference. PLEASE BE ADVISED that your membership is paid up to 1 September 2017. In mid-August you will receive a reminder to renew for the 2017-18 school year. This is not a mistake! For a one-year Professional Member, the OFLA Membership year runs September 1st of the current year up to September 1st of the following year. There is no pro-rated plan for joining or renewing at any other time during the year. Continue reading
Spanish Teacher, Ross High School
Think back to your choices as a student. Why do you sign up for any particular class? A course may fulfill required minimums for graduation with a particular diploma or degree. Many schedules allow for, and even encourage, students to reach beyond required minimums and elect to take courses outside their major course of study or graduation track. What classes did you select when you chose your electives? More importantly…why? Maybe you selected something that sounded like fun (Yoga, anyone?), or you selected courses because you knew your friends were signing up for them, or perhaps you chose courses because an educator encouraged you to do so. Continue reading
In our exponentially-growing multicultural society, the ability to speak multiple languages is crucial. It is thought that those who can reach more people will ultimately be more successful. Furthermore, a society in which more connections are made—linguistic and otherwise—makes for a more cohesive culture. Concurrent with those two ideas, modern civilization has fostered ideals about being multilingual after realizing the importance that target languages play in the path of understanding other cultures. Recognizing the importance of second (or third) language acquisition, most countries and educational institutions have language learning requirements in place (Spolsky, 2011). The effectiveness of language instruction and learning can have both individual and societal effects, so it is important to consider which circumstances afford people (and societies) the best chance for success. Continue reading
Dr. Barbara Sposet, Baldwin Wallace University
OFLA Scholarship Chair
A U.S. Department of Education report released in August, 2016, reveals that in the state of Ohio there has been a teacher shortage in foreign languages the past 10 years. The last reported shortage period was from 1993-95 (Cross, Freddy. Teacher Shortage Areas. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education).
A brief review of online sources as to the possible reasons why the shortage exists not only in Ohio but nation-wide revealed three possible but viable causes: 1) The efforts of school systems to offer a broader selection of languages and the offering of foreign languages to students at a younger and younger age; 2) Speakers of foreign languages have other options besides teaching; and 3) The need to have people who promote the profession. Continue reading