Ryan Wertz and Kathy Shelton, World Language Consultants, Ohio Department of Education
You Are Appreciated!
As we pen this article, we are in the midst of Teacher Appreciation Week, which falls annually during the first week of May. We are profoundly grateful for all that you have done to keep students learning during an unprecedented school year filled with challenges that were almost unimaginable a little more than a year ago. We want to thank every world language educator who stuck with it this year, overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges to keep students engaged in language and culture learning. We have been duly impressed by your resilience and especially by your willingness to broadly support, collaborate and share ideas and resources with educators who have been struggling. This year Ohio’s world language teachers have shined brightly like never before, and you are to be commended!
Ohio’s Learning Standards for World Languages and Cultures (2020)
Please be reminded that the revised learning standards are available on the Department’s World Languages and Cultures webpage. They should be integrated by schools and districts into local curriculum and pacing guides in time for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.
OTES 2.0 Guidance for World Language Teachers
For many, the latest 2.0 version of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) will bring some welcome changes including a more balanced approach to teacher growth and development. We were pleased to offer a World Language Wednesday session in partnership with the Actionable Leaders Network to introduce OTES 2.0 on May 5th. If you were not able to attend, we will be offering future sessions this summer. You may also access the recording and materials from this meetup and all others on the Department’s World Languages Remote and Digital Learning Center webpage. General information and guidance for OTES 2.0 can be found on the Department’s OTES 2.0 webpage.
Virtual Support for Ohio World Language Teachers
As the end of one of the most challenging school years ever comes into sight, we at the Department remain committed to providing ongoing support and virtual professional learning opportunities for Ohio world language teachers. We have held a total of 57 meetups, with over 3500 live attendees! This doesn’t include the number of teachers who have accessed the materials and recordings asynchronously during this time period. Thank you to our partners, OFLA and the Actionable Leaders network, for your outstanding support and collaboration this past year!
Ohio Seal of Biliteracy Update
The Ohio Seal of Biliteracy program took a small, but not wholly unexpected, step backward with the Class of 2020. As a direct result of the pandemic and difficulties experienced by many schools and districts in completing required English and world language proficiency testing:
- The total number of seals conferred went down from 901 seals in 2019 to 721 seals in 2020;
- Slightly fewer districts (67) conferred seals of biliteracy in 2020 as compared to 69 in 2019; and
- The percentage of seals conferred to English Learners slipped from 2.4% of all seal recipients in 2019 to 2.0% in 2020.
On a more positive note:
- Seals were conferred to graduates for their proficiency in 18 languages – the same number of languages as in 2019; and
- The percentage of nonwhite seal recipients increased slightly from 30% of all recipients in 2019 to 33% in 2020.
For additional Ohio Seal of Biliteracy data and all other related resources, be sure to visit the Department’s Ohio Seal of Biliteracy webpage.