Self-Advocacy: An Essential 21st Century Skill!

Self-Advocacy: An Essential 21st Century Skill!
Debbie Varga
OFLA Public Relations and Advocacy Chair
Spanish Teacher
Revere High School
Richfield, Ohio

The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to make sure your “tool kit” is equipped with best practices for self-advocacy. Adding these following tools will ensure that you can deliver the best for your students and advocate for not only them and world language education, but also for yourself:

Peruse the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 (available at These provide a great foundation for justifying what learners should be able to do at the novice, intermediate, advanced, and superior levels.

Access the many resources in the Ohio World Language Model Curriculum available at the Ohio Department of Education website. It contains everything you need to design a top-notch world language program.

Be familiar with ACTFL’s position statement on 90%+ use of the target language in the classroom. This is key for standing firm for what is best for world language learners.

Access the OFLA Teacher Evaluation Tool on the OFLA website. This can be used along with the OTES rubric when meeting with your evaluator.

Access the many resources from the TELL Project (Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning) at It contains excellent rubrics for professional self-evaluation and program effectiveness.

Research second language acquisition online to keep up with the latest studies. This provides a foundation for what you do and how can it directly impact your students.

Finally, “find your tribe” and create a PLN (personal learning network). This is your go-to group for when you need a professional pick-me-up or a support group for when you are not sure where to go when trying out new ideas. These people will advocate for you and with you when you need them most!

This entry was posted in Advocacy, Vol. 54, No. 1 - Fall 2015. Bookmark the permalink.

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