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News & Updates From AWLA

  • 16 Aug 2018 11:16 AM | Malinda O'Leary (Administrator)

    “Keep Them Talking! Moving Beyond Memorized Vocabulary” was selected as the Best of Alabama at the AWLA Conference 2018. Presenter, Liza Heath, will head off to SCOLT in the spring to represent Alabama.  Congratulations, Liza!

  • 13 Jul 2018 11:09 AM | Malinda O'Leary (Administrator)

    Make an impact!

    The CODES Act Threatens World Language Education 


    On June 26, the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) unanimously passed H.R. 2353, a key hurdle to reauthorize the Perkins Act. It comes after years of delays and direct lobbying from businesses and the President’s own daughter. The House passed their version of the Perkins Act reauthorization back in June 2017. The Career and Technical Education Research and Outreach Act of 2018 emphasizes technical education to prepare students K-12 for America’s 21st century economy. Senate and House leaders are eager for a sure bipartisan win ahead of November’s midterm elections and before the end of the legislative session, potentially putting Perkins on the fast-track to the President's desk. It now awaits a floor vote in the Senate, which has yet to be scheduled.

    Although amendments were not allowed in the Senate HELP Committee, amendments to the bill may be offered during the floor vote. JNCL-NCLIS is closely monitoring a potential amendment called the High School CODES Act, which is a serious threat to the integrity of high school language programs in every state of the Union. The CODES Act amends the Perkins Act by establishing a competitive grant that would be available to local educational agencies (LEAs) with “programs that allow high school students to take a coding class in place of a mathematics, science, or foreign language class in order to fulfill a graduation requirement.”

    As has been previously published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), "the study of computer coding does not allow students to gain the intercultural skills, insight, and perspectives to know how, when, and why to express what to whom." By classifying computer coding as a foreign language credit, this program --and others like it-- encroaches on the limited resources normally allocated to foreign language departments, already suffering from a major teacher shortage.

    JNCL-NCLIS and its members strongly oppose limiting students' opportunities to study world language. The CODES Act and other bills like it that incentivize the replacement of world language education represent an existential threat to the language community and a gross misunderstanding of the practical needs of the globalized 21st century economy. JNCL-NCLIS and its organizational members ask you to write to your Senators today regarding the community's concerns. Click the link below to use the form email provided by ACTLF. 


  • 01 May 2018 1:22 PM | Malinda O'Leary (Administrator)

    AWLA 2019 planning is underway.  The Call for Proposals has launched and so we look forward to all the ideas and expertise our AWLA members bring to this experience.  We will take submissions through May 31.  

    If you have any questions about the conference program, please contact AWLA VP and Program Chair, Jennifer Charles. If you want to know more about the site, then Dr. Leonor Vázquez-González will be happy to help.  Dr. Stacey Ayotte is welcoming exhibitors and sponsors for the conference! So if you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at AWLA 2019, let us know!

  • 29 Mar 2018 2:09 PM | Malinda O'Leary (Administrator)

    What a great weekend!  AWLA was well represented at this year's SCOLT conference in Atlanta.  Members were presenting, leading, mentoring, chatting, sharing and learning.  Visit our Facebook page to see photos and posts as well as the hashtag #SCOLT18.  AWLA Parliamentarian, Sandrine Hope and I attended the SCOLT leadership luncheon on behalf of AWLA and found it to be quite an engaging afternoon discussing how we can recruit, retain and encourage foreign language teachers.  This topic is building on an area of focus by ACTFL too so there is much ado going on to tackle the problem of lack of foreign language educators.  See my previous post from ACTFL in November to learn about some of the initiatives.

  • 21 Mar 2018 1:31 PM | Malinda O'Leary (Administrator)

    AWLA was thrilled to help send our Advocacy Director, Dr. Nick Gusset to Washington,D.C for Language Advocacy Day 2018.  Visit online to learn more about this day.

  • 21 Mar 2018 1:21 PM | Malinda O'Leary (Administrator)

    My head is flying with so many new ideas and affirmations from the weekend in Atlanta at SCOLT 2018. I can honestly say that watching the plane take off and land right outside the conference windows was a nice touch.  On behalf of AWLA, I want to send up a special shout out to our own Jennifer Bruni and Dr. Sue Barry who represented Alabama at the SCOLT Awards.   Jennifer was our nominee for SCOLT TOY and Dr. Barry was honored with the SCOLT Founder's Award.

    Visit AWLA and SCOLT on Facebook for more photos.


  • 06 Mar 2018 3:48 PM | Allison Ramey

    American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

    Looking to advance your Spanish this summer? Apply for one of twelve summer scholarships for Spanish. Available exclusively for ACTFL members, summer scholarships offer the opportunity to study abroad and enhance your language skills.  

    Spanish scholarship locations include:







    Buenos Aires

    Barcelona, Spain  







    There is no cost to apply, and you may apply for multiple scholarships. Scholarships are also available for Arabic, Chinese, Italian, and French. Winners will be announced in April. Take advantage of this incredible member benefit and apply today!

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