OFLA / CSCTFL Joint Conference: March 9 – 11, 2023

For more information head to www.csctfl.org!

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The Antiracist World Language Classroom

Transforming Language Learning

Marcia Davis, OFLA Secondary Language Learning Chair
World Language Middle School, Columbus City Schools

Language is a powerful vehicle through which its learners can communicate about a variety of topics. Traditionally, that communication may have been about the weather, how to order a meal in a restaurant, how to introduce yourself to others, or how to plan travel abroad. Have you ever thought about using language to help learners begin to have critical conversations and interactions to disrupt racism as they navigate the world around them?

In their most recent publication, The Antiracist World Language Classroom, Drs. Krishauna Hines-Gaither and Cécile Accilien draw on current foundational knowledge of antiracism to help world languages educators consider what antiracism looks like in the world language classroom, why it is necessary to establish antiracist practices in the world language classroom, and how to effect antiracist pedagogies that benefit all learners in the world language classroom. 

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Teacher Shortage: A Concerning Matter

Pascale Abadie, OFLA Recruitment and Retention Chair
Associate Professor, Wright State University

It has been more and more challenging to recruit teachers and professors alike; fewer students choose the teaching path, and a job that was once seen as rewarding and fulfilling has become less attractive over the last decade or so. The main reason for this decline might be that parents would rather not have their children choose a career that has inadequate pay and benefits along with a drastic change in students’ behaviors and lack of discipline. Because the profession is more challenging, it has become less desirable to potential candidates. A job that was seen as respected or valued in our society has lost its sheen over the years. Widespread teacher strikes over the United States over low salary and lack of resources for classrooms are not helping the recruiting process for teachers. Not to mention the legitimate after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Research has shown a 35 percent decline in teacher ed enrollments, highlighting that the teacher shortage problem is very worrisome. According to the National Education Association, schools are facing a shortage of 300,000 teachers and staff across the U.S. 

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Around the State

Ryan Wertz and Kathy Shelton
World Language Consultants, Ohio Department of Education

Another school year is well underway, and world language teachers everywhere are working hard following the recent disruptions in learning to get their students’ proficiency development and intercultural growth back on track.  At the Ohio Department of Education, we are extremely grateful for your perseverance these last few years and remain in awe of your resilience and continuing hard work.  Thank you for all you are doing to re-engage learners and provide them with opportunities to gain proficiency in another language and expand their knowledge of our world.

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National German Exam Results 2022

Ohio has five winners!

Darlene Lyon, Ohio AATG Testing Chair
German Teacher, Berea-Midpark High School

This year’s National German Exam continued with its successful online format with 641 students in 13 schools around Ohio completing the exam.  At level 2 thirty-six students scored at or above the 90th percentile, at level 3 twenty-three, and at level 4 nineteen.  Outstanding achievements!    

This year the Travel Scholarship sponsored by the PAD (Pädagogische Austausch Dienst) in Germany was reinstated and FIVE students in Ohio accepted the scholarship to travel and study in Germany for 3-weeks this summer. 

We congratulate and recognize the outstanding students (and their teachers) who were  in Germany for travel and study this past summer:

  1. Avery Benjamin (11) German 3, Michele Engberg, Emerald Campus, Dublin
  2. Benjamin Brobst (10), German 3, Peggy Burling, Brecksville-Broadview Heights HS, Broadview Heights
  3. Josephine (Josie) Mayhew (10), German 3, Andrea Bradd-Cook, Shaker Heights HS, Shaker Heights
  4. Tyler Nordstrom(12) German 4, Andrea Bradd-Cook, Shaker Heights HS, Shaker Heights
  5. Colleen Schweninger (10) German 3, Tony Evans, Dublin-Coffman HS, Dublin
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AATSP Update

Alondra Pacheco
Spanish Teacher, University School, Hunting Valley

This past September, AATSP celebrated National Teach Spanish Week to promote the teaching of Spanish as a profession and highlight the importance of Spanish as a world language. This week-long event began with a webinar in partnership with Vista Higher Learning. The webinar, titled “¡Prepárense para traer la alegría!”, was hosted by Nadie Jacobson-McLean, Ryan Casey, and Haydee Taylor Arnold.  Other events included “Lunes de Latinidad” presented by Dr. Sheri Spaine Long and Dr. Celia Chamón Zamora. We also enjoyed a “Feria de Ideas” webinar and a Social Media Takeover by teacher Sybil Sánchez.

The 2022 AATSP Board of Directors Election is underway and all AATSP members are invited to vote. Voting closes October 30 .

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¡Aprovechen del teatro español… en Cleveland!

Dr. Roger Anderson, Assistant Professor of International Languages & Cultures
Central State University

Como profesor de francés y árabe, estoy siempre celoso de todas las oportunidades disponibles para los estudiantes de español para usar el idioma en contextos, fuera de la clase, y profundizar sus capacidades interculturales usando el español.

Para las clases de español en la ciudad de Cleveland y en sus afueras, una de estas oportunidades maravillosas es asistir a una obra de teatro en español… ¡en vivo! Ubicado en el centro (oeste) de Cleveland, el LatinUs Theater Company es el único teatro hispanohablante en el estado de Ohio entero, y además, ¡puede que sea el único teatro en Ohio que presente obras en otro idioma aparte del inglés! Vea el enlace de su sitio web: https://www.latinustheater.com/

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Reinventing Yourself in Times Like These…

Deborah Varga
Spanish Teacher, Revere Local Schools

We are in difficult times in so many ways. We are being pressed on all sides and still we have hope that there is a “light at the end of the tunnel”. Your very presence while choosing to read this article proves that you are intrigued to find ways to be supported while exploring new ways to reach your students and connect with your peers.  

Over the years, I have found that sometimes all that is needed in order to know that you are on the right path is to take a risk and try one new thing at a time. Perhaps a new blog, podcast or resource can provide comfort in learning that others are like-minded in growing professionally.  Through social media, investigating new hashtags can guide us towards making global connections and collaborations. 

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Camp OFLA 2023

Plans are underway for Camp OFLA 2023!

Dr. Lori Winne
Program Director, Camp OFLA

Camp OFLA 2023 will celebrate its 18th year this summer! Many changes have taken place over the years, including languages, staff and campers! Camp OFLA is a one-week elementary residential camp in Ohio sponsored by the Ohio Foreign Language Association and located about 20 minutes south of Mansfield. Camp OFLA directors, teachers and counselors are excitedly planning new activities to celebrate 2023, so watch for news at www.campofla.org !  

So what is Camp OFLA? How and why did it begin? What happens during camp? 

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Please Consider Attending the 2022 60th Anniversary Conference July 25-27, 2022

Richard Emch, Ohio Foreign Language Association President
French Teacher, North Royalton High School

In an ever-changing field of education, the Ohio Foreign Language Association has focused our strategic plan to “build the capacity of foreign language teachers to prepare learners to demonstrate their [second language] proficiency.” The 2022 OFLA conference committee has taken on this endeavor and has invited education professionals recognized by the American Council on the Teaching Foreign Languages, the Central States Conference on the Teaching Foreign Languages, the Ohio Department of Education, as well as resident experts from Ohio, to provide the best professional development opportunities. We are pleased to present, at nominal cost to our members, our 60th Anniversary annual conference, July 25-27, 2022 in Dublin, Ohio.

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