OTES Success, OFLA Teacher Evaluation Tool

María Postigo

María Postigo is a native speaker from Spain. She teaches Spanish II, III/Hnrs & IV and is the Spanish Club Advisor at Canal Winchester HS. She is on the OFLA Secondary Language Learning Committee. She is also a Ph.D. Candidate on Translation and Interpreting Studies.

In preparation for the new OTES (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System), Teri Wiechart, OFLA President 2013-2014, assigned our Secondary Language Learning Committee with the task of creating an evaluation tool that could reflect the work that the dedicated Ohio World Language teachers put in the classroom. The OFLA Teacher Evaluation Tool we created is a resource that can be used for teacher pre-observation, observation and post-observation by administrators, but it can also be used for peer to peer evaluation.

While accomplishing this we took into consideration the eTPES Formal Observation/Performance Rubric used by Ohio Principals, the TELL Project Full Class Observation Feedback Tool and the Kentucky WL Observation Form (Sauer). We had feedback from our coworkers, administrators and the OFLA Board. The tool got field-tested in the 2014-2015 school year and got approval from ODE.

Our Committee (Debbie McCorkle, Chair, Becky Shick, Debbie Varga and I) had the honor to present the OFLA Teacher Evaluation Tool at the 2015 OFLA Conference. We posted the following resources to the conference’s website’s EventMobi (http://eventmobi.com/api/events/7547/documents/download/a2f16432-f981-4fe1-8877-08a4cec93925.pdf/as/OFLA%20Evaluation%20Tool%20Presentation.pdf):

The OFLA Teacher Evaluation Tool can also be accessed from two convenient locations, so that it can be easily shared with teachers and administrators:

Although the Evaluation Tool covers all possible ratings (Ineffective, Developing, Skilled and Accomplished), our presentation at the OFLA Conference and the resources that we provided focused on the Skilled level, which is the one that principals are primarily trained to observe. The tool has a total of 10 areas to be observed. It takes into consideration ACTFL and ODE recommendations for target language use.

Those ten areas at the Skill level are as follows:


  • Focus for Learning:  The lesson’s performance objectives are clearly stated or posted in the classroom for the duration of the period.
  • Assessment Data:  The teacher collects and analyzes data from multiple sources.
  • Prior Content Knowledge:  The teacher makes some clear and coherent connections with students’ knowledge of their own culture/language and prior knowledge of the target culture/language to address immediate and future learning objectives.


  • Lesson Delivery:  75% of the lesson delivery is in the target language.
  • Differentiation:  The teacher uses a variety of strategies to make language comprehensible.
  • Resources:  The teacher frequently uses authentic** print and non-print materials in target language.
  • Technology Integration (if available):  The teacher and students frequently use available technologies to develop real world language abilities.
  • Classroom Environment (as much as possible):  The physical environment supports the unit’s language and cultural learning goals*** and encourages real-world meaningful interpersonal communication.
  • Feedback:  The teacher provides students the opportunity to self-assess their language competencies and cultural interactions using reflective learning activities.
  • Assessment of Student Learning:  The teacher frequently measures students’ language competency with summative performance based tasks across three modes of communication*.

Don’t forget to check out our suggestions to accomplish these tasks, which can be found in the aforementioned Resources Folder. The OFLA Secondary Language Learning Committee is very grateful and excited about having had the opportunity to create this useful tool for Ohio World Language Teachers. I hope that you find the aforementioned presentation, teacher evaluation tool and resources folder useful in your district.

Best of luck!

* Three Modes of Communication: Interpretive (← ), Presentational ( → ), Interpersonal ( ↔ )
Four Language Skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking
** Authentic sources are written or oral materials created by native speakers for native speakers.
***Two Ohio World Language Standards: Communication and Cultures

This entry was posted in OFLA News: Association, Vol. 53, No. 3 - Summer 2015. Bookmark the permalink.

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