Around the State

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

February is World Language Advocacy Month

Each year, throughout the month of February, ACTFL’s Lead with Languages campaign celebrates the achievements of students, parents, educators, and others who are advocating for language education programs across the United States. Strong and sustained language programs contribute significantly to the success of our communities as they develop students into globally competent citizens and provide businesses with the talent they need to thrive in our interconnected, 21st-century world. [ACTFL, Lead with Languages, 2021] Continue reading

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AATSP

AATSP UPDATES FOR WINTER 2021

Jonathan Harris, Ohio Buckeye AATSP President
Spanish Teacher, St. Gabriel Consolidated School, Cincinnati

2021 Chapter officers were selected:

     Jonathan Harris, President
     Alondra Pacheco, President-Elect and Treasurer
     Liz Cobb-Owens, Communication Coordinator
     Lindsay Dollinger Poster Contest Coordinator
     Greg Lamping NSE Coordinator

The National Spanish Exam (NSE) begins on January 31, 2021. Information on the NSE can be found at What is the NSE? (nationalspanishexam.org)

Early-bird registration for the 2021 National Conference in Atlanta has begun. This year’s conference will take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and is scheduled to be in-person starting July 8, 2021. For more details and for conference registration, please visit the conference website at 2021Conference (aatsp.org).

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TESOL

CCS WORLD LANGUAGE MIDDLE SCHOOL

Derek Braun, TESOL/OFLA Liaison Columbus City Schools, EL Science Teacher

“One School. One Mission. One Vision. One Movement.”  Columbus City Schools World Language Middle School (WLMS), a school dedicated to providing a Spanish / French language immersion experience along with the integration of the district’s newcomer ESL program, plans to open in the fall of the 2021-2022 school year.  The school will be located in the old Dominion Middle School building in the Beechwold neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio.  Principal Sandra Santos, alongside the Columbus City Schools ESL Department, is leading the initiative.  The school’s planning and development has been assisted by a Steering Committee, including Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), dual-language immersion experts from The Ohio State University, and community members. Continue reading

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Walking a (Quarter) Mile in Learners’ Shoes

One FL instructor’s Online Study 

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

To celebrate finishing my Ph.D., I gifted myself (ha!) a three-month subscription to a well-known, commercial product to learn another language (heretofore: SLA).      

I had two goals in mind:  to resume my study of Hebrew, which I began almost ten years earlier, and to experience for myself learning a language using a commercial SLA product.  Reaching an advanced proficiency of Hebrew remains on my bucket list. My prior language study -in all the languages I’ve studied- was done in traditional synchronous classrooms. 

The name of the company /product I used is not crucial here.  The market offers many products, but my using one such product allowed me to remember crucial insights into the process of SLA worth sharing with colleagues.     Continue reading

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Student Technology Requirements for Online Learning

Sheri K. Barksdale, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, Assistant Professor of American Sign Language
Brian Hunter, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, Assistant Professor of Spanish

A factor that has a great degree of variability is the online component of online learning.  Students do not know if their internet speed is enough if their computer is adequate, or what their workspace should have.  By providing our learners with a student technology checklist, they have a starting point.  We require this checklist be completed prior to the first meeting of the online class.  It is just one component of the student readiness activities which are completed during the first week of the semester.  With the student technology checklist, our online learners will have gained information and ideas on how they should improve their online learning environment. Continue reading

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Give Students an Exchange Experience without Travel!

The GAVE program from Goethe Institut is perfect for a pandemic!

Carah Casler, German/ELL Teacher, Watkins Memorial High School

In this time of uncertainty, it has been amazing to observe my students learn, grow and develop cultural understanding the same way I did as an exchange student. With the GAVE program, my students are connecting with German students while using their language and social skills to tackle global issues in a collaborative digital workspace. The materials are well designed and my partner teachers in Germany and I find them user-friendly.  Continue reading

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Letter from the President

Fighting Zoom Fatigue and the Value of Self-Care

Cheryl Johnson, 2020-2021 OFLA President
Denison University, Instructional Technologist for the Dept of Modern Languages

Greetings! In pondering for weeks now what to write to you, our members, I find myself searching for words of hope that can shine a light on a year that has been a challenging one for all of us – full of disappointments, natural disasters, conflicts, isolation, illness and the loss of many lives. Added to this is the uncertainty that most of us have gone through with regards to which teaching model – online, in person, hybrid, HyFlex or a combination of models – we would be required to implement this fall. This uncertainty, of course, produces stress that can make us feel exhausted even before the end of the first unit of study. On top of all this, our school budgets have been cut, which impacts our ability to obtain professional development. Then, of course, there is “Zoom fatigue” that those of us who are delivering instruction online either through Google Meet, Zoom, Teams or Webex must combat. All of this can be overwhelming so what do we do to feel more in control and less stressed?

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2021 OFLA Conference Update

CANCELLED: 2021 OFLA ANNUAL CONFERENCE AT EMBASSY SUITES

Cheryl Johnson, 2020-2021 OFLA President
Instructional Technologist for the Dept of Modern Languages, Denison University

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and after careful consideration, we have cancelled the in-person 2021 OFLA Annual Conference at Embassy Suites in Columbus. Currently, we continue to partner with Kathy Shelton, World Languages and Cultures Consultant at the Ohio Department of Education, in offering Virtual Meetups. For the schedule and topics, go to this ODE webpage. You may also view notes and some videos of previous meetups at this site too. 

We are also working on planning other professional development and support opportunities so please read our listserv messages and check our website at http://ofla-online.org for updates.

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OFLA is an Amazon Smile Registered Non-Profit

Consider Supporting OFLA with an Automatic Charitable Donation

Cheryl Johnson, 2020-2021 OFLA President
Instructional Technologist for the Dept of Modern Languages, Denison University

Amazon will donate to OFLA 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases if you select OFLA as your charity. AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support us every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones. When you shop AmazonSmile, you’ll find the same prices as on Amazon.com.

All I had to do to select OFLA as my non-profit organization was to go to this link, smile.amazon.com/ch/31-0913469. I was prompted to add OFLA and then I easily went on to do my shopping. 

The OFLA Board would really appreciate your support. Every little bit will help us to serve you better.

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Teaching During a Pandemic

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Lesley Chapman, OFLA Immediate Past President
French Teacher, Sycamore Community Schools

Recently, I received a text message from Kathy Shelton referring to the 2020 school year. It read: Tell me everything.  The good, the bad, and the ugly. My head started spinning. Where do you begin?  Is there good?  There’s a good deal of bad, and I am afraid much of the ugly has not even occurred yet. This got me thinking: what are the answers to those questions? What is the good, the bad, and the ugly of teaching World Language to high school students during a pandemic?

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