DOE Report to FLAVA (May 2016)

DOE Report to FLAVA (May 2016)

Summer Virginia TELL Institute – Save the Date
Over 150 teachers applied for the the Virginia TELL Institute, a two-day summer professional learning experience centered on selected domains from the Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Framework. The Institute will take place on August 12-13, 2016, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. There will be slots available for 90 teachers and possibly up to 120 teachers, depending on final funding approved. Supervisors are eligible to attend as well.

Using the TELL Collab as a model for the two-days, each participant, using their areas for growth on a TELL self-assessment, will set specific goals to continue their development. Based on those goals, participants will select a focus area for the experience. Each focus area will provide a sequence of learning and a deliverable that demonstrates their learning during the segment. The summer institute will bring teachers into professional conversations and a variety of both structured and un-structured deep learning experiences with national experts, teacher leaders, and colleagues.

Based on our current data from the Virginia TELL survey and national trends, there are three TELL domains in which teachers need intense support due to the paradigm shift in language instruction: Using the Target Language & Providing Comprehensible Input, Developing Performance Assessments, and Creating Standards-based Learning Targets. These three concepts will form the broad outline from which teachers will select their focus area. Participants’ performance will be measured through a series of peer-based badges as well as demonstration of knowledge in a post-institute Think Aloud task that may lead to additional professional learning badges and credits.

Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Survey
Please continue to encourage all teachers to take or re-take the survey after they complete their TELL self-assessment inventory. Professional development (PD) organizers may request data at any time on top goal areas on a state, regional, or local level to assist them with selecting topics for future PD events. The survey is on the Web at: .

Modified Oral Proficiency Interviews (MOPI) Institutes
Two additional MOPI Institutes have been approved. We will funding for 50 teachers for the pre-FLAVA MOPI to be held on October 5-6, 2016. Registration will open in May via a Superintendents’’ Memo.

We will also hold three regional trainings for summer 2017. Let me know if you are interested in hosting one of the training sites. I will try to have the sites spread out around the state, but final locations will depend on who is willing and able to host.

Foreign Language Standards of Learning Technical Assistance Documents
The final documents are posted on the Foreign Language Website. The most recent edits were completed on February 6, 2016. Download the documents at: . Please continue to share suggestions for improvement, edits, or recommendations to add to the resource links. Please also encourage teachers to share their recommendations and feedback as well.

Seal of Biliteracy
The Seal of Biliteracy list of Acceptable Evidence of Proficiency has been updated as of April 28, 2016 to include additional assessments submitted for review and approval. The revised list and a new FAQ section have been posted on the Seal of Biliteracy Website at:

Legislation Updates
Four bills were introduced this session to allow various types of computer science courses to be counted as a foreign language credit. Three were killed and one was replaced with a different bill that added computer science to the graduation skills criteria. A bill was introduced to provide grants to schools for critical language programs. This bill was reported from the Education committee, but was killed in the appropriations committee.

The 2016 General Assembly has introduced Senate Bill No. 336 and House Bill No. 895 which remove existing provisions related to standard and advanced studies diplomas and standard and verified units of credit and requires the Board of Education to develop and implement a Profile of a Virginia Graduate. It is not yet clear how foreign language will appear in the description, but the presentation given to the Accountability Committee of the Board on February 25th shows foreign language as one of several elective options.

This an exciting new project born out of the LILL Institute and ACTFLs work to highlight the six core practices that lead to student proficiency development. Please consider signing up to make a short (10 minute) video in an area of interest to be used in the pilot rollout. More details will be given by Lea Graner-Kennedy and you can see more at the LangTALKS website at:

International MOU
There are still several French schools waiting for partner schools in Virginia. Several of the current partner schools are working on site visits and joint projects, as well as planning future adult and student exchange opportunities. Please encourage French teachers or administrators to contact Lisa Harris for applications and additional information to begin a partnership.

If your school division is interested in interviewing teachers from Spain to fill Spanish vacancies for the coming school year please let me know ASAP.

Virginia Foreign Language Teacher of the Year
Related Project in the Works: I am working on a plan to have VDOE showcase some great teachers in a quarterly website post tentatively called “Meet the Teacher: Language Educators who are making a Difference.” I will be visiting classrooms of teachers who are doing great things to interview them and highlight some of their work. The goal is to have a new teacher highlighted quarterly on the VDOE website. I am also am talking with the FLAVA leadership about tying this effort into the Teacher of the Year application process. Please share with me the names of teachers who would be good candidate for the quarterly showcase; as well as your thoughts about how we can expand efforts to recognize model teachers and share best practices.

Foreign Language Newsletters
I am once again sending monthly newsletters due to the number of requests for information that doesn’t all fit on the Teacher Direct format. Please submit to me any items you would like to have included on the newsletter and/or on Teacher Direct via email and include the link to any websites to be referenced in the announcement. I send the newsletter in pdf, but if you would like a word version to copy from, just email me and I will send it to you.

Transition from Foreign to World Language
The proposed changes to officially change the designation of “Foreign Language” to “World Language” at the Department of Education were removed from the draft revisions to the Standards of Accreditation. The Secretary’s office did not select the legislation to be sponsored at the General Assembly.

GFLA 2016
Teachers are reminded that they may apply to the Teacher Observer Program at any of the Governor’s Academies for 2-7 days and earn points toward re-licensure, pending the approval of their local school administration. Applications are due in May and are available from the VDOE Academy Web page below under “staff applications.” Please encourage teachers who could benefit from spending time immersed in the language to apply early as spaces are limited.

Other Important deadlines for the 2016 Academies:
May 15, 2016: Deadline for teacher observer applications to be submitted.
May 1, 2016: Program participants access online detailed information from the Academy director.
Mid-May, 2016: VDOE mails initial invoices to school divisions.
May 20, 2016: Deadline for program participants to mail required forms directly to the individual Academy director.
June 25-July 16, 2016 Governor’s French, German, and Spanish Academies at Washington and Lee University
June 26-July 17, 2016 Governor’s Japanese and Latin Academies at Randolph-Macon College

For more information, please contact:
Lisa Harris, Specialist for Foreign Languages and International Education
Phone: (804) 225-3666


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