By Ben Hawkins

The Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA) is seeking nominations for Outstanding New Teacher, Outstanding Post-Secondary Teacher, Outstanding Teacher (K-16), Outstanding Administrator, Lifetime Achievement, and Amici Linguarum – or “Friend of Languages.” Winners will be announced at the association’s annual conference in September.

Founded in 1974, the Kentucky World Language Association is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. The KWLA Awards Program was designed to further advance the group’s mission to better serve the world language teachers and students of Kentucky.

The awards and who they honor include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: highlights and celebrates a person whose life-long career in the world language teaching profession has made a vast and immeasurable difference on the lives of their students, parents, communities and colleagues.
  • Outstanding New Teacher Award: celebrates young and talented newcomers to the world language teaching profession.
  • Outstanding Teacher Award: recognizes one outstanding teacher (K-16) from a group of award-winning Chinese, Japanese, Latin, German, French and Spanish educators whom KWLA feels has had the deepest influence and impact on the lives of students.

The winner of the Outstanding Teacher Award will go on to the regional Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) in the spring of the next year to vie for the title of SCOLT Teacher of the Year. The person who wins at SCOLT then goes on to be considered for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages National Language Teacher of the Year. Christine Hutchins, a Chinese teacher at St. Francis High School in Louisville, was named the KWLA Outstanding Teacher for 2017.

In addition to recognizing teachers of world languages for their hard work each year, KWLA also recognizes educational professionals whose primary responsibilities lie outside the area of world language teaching. The KWLA Outstanding Administrator Award recognize a Kentucky administrator from any level of instruction, K-16, who has shown great levels of support to world language teachers and the work they do. For those who work outside the education profession but show enormous support for world language teaching and learning, KWLA awards the Amici Linguarum, or “Friend of Languages” Award.

Information about the awards nomination process can be found on the KWLA website. In general, candidates for each of the awards must submit to the Awards Committee for its consideration a combination of the following: letters of recommendation from colleagues, parents and/or students, and administrators, along with a few other documents such as a curriculum vitae and an essay on the importance of developing linguistic and cultural competencies.

The deadline for nominations is June 15. For questions, problems or concerns about the awards nomination process, contact the KWLA Awards Committee at