AZLA News 

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  • 5 Jan 2020 4:52 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    AZLA is proud of our 2019 TOY, Melanie Mello, who was selected by SWCOLT and went on to represent our organization at ACTFL 2019. Congratulations, Melanie!

  • 14 Mar 2017 3:21 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Brian Barabé, who was presented with the SWCOLT 2017 Honorary Lifetime Member Award. Brian, AZLA’s nominee to the nine-state regional conference, is pictured along with fellow former AZLA presidents Mariana Bahtchevanova, Lisa Berkson, and Jocelyn Danielson Raught. On the right is Carla (Armendáriz) Whitehead, AZLA’s T.O.Y. Representative to SWCOLT 2017.


  • 14 Mar 2017 3:13 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    Our state is known for its grassroots approach to supporting world and native language programs. Please take 5 minutes to click into the following 2 links I shared at the AZLA Spring Workshop to do your part! Don’t forget to attach the Lead with Languages logo to your email signature! Please share these with world, native and immersion language educators.

    1) This link takes you to the TAKE ACTION! webpage that generates an email to your legislators by simply typing in your zip code and state.

    2) This link takes you to the LEAD WITH LANGUAGES campaign page. Watch videos, read research, search by languages and more.

    Please add the LEAD WITH LANGUAGES logo to your email signature to show AZ’s grassroots support of world and native language programming!

    lead with languages.png

  • 14 Mar 2017 3:13 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    115 AZ language educators, from elementary through university levels, came together to learn strategies that get students talking and using the new language they are learning. They all belong to the AZ Language Association, a group committed to preparing our future AZ multilingual workforce. These educators represented teaching AZ students Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, German, Japanese, ESL and English. Advocacy was also a part of the meeting which shared the irony behind the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2017) report that cites AZ as having among the lowest enrollment in foreign language classes at only 8% of the state’s students while The New American Economy study (2017) shared a 16% increase in bilingual online job postings from 2010 to 2015.

    Graph source: Burning Glass Technologies, Labor Insight, Data pulled on April 13, 2016

  • 14 Mar 2017 3:10 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    For March's DLI School Network, language immersion educators met at Gavilan Peak K-8 School to observe Chinese Immersion classroom and to discuss successes and challenges across programs.

    To be added to the invitation list please contact Cristina Ladas at


  • 14 Mar 2017 3:09 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    Not Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market

    Published by the New American Economy, March 2017

    A report released today by New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan coalition of more than 500 mayors and business leaders who support immigration reform, includes new data that emphasizes the critical need for language skills in the workplace, including the fact that the number of jobs aimed at bilingual workers more than doubled from 2010 to 2015, growing to 630,000. Moreover, employers added jobs at a much faster pace for bilingual individuals than they did for workers overall. This report provides valuable insight into how the demand for bilingual workers has grown at both the state and national levels, and cites new evidence that proficiency in more than one language will be among the most important skills a job seeker can demonstrate. Specifically, the report found the demand for bilingual workers is rising; employers are increasingly looking for workers who can speak Chinese, Spanish and Arabic; sectors such as banking and healthcare have particularly strong demand for bilingual workers; and there is a growing need for bilingual workers at both the lower and higher ends of the skill spectrum.

  • 14 Feb 2017 3:11 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    The Dual Language Immersion (or DLI) Network has had great success this year with a visit to a different DLI program every month. This month (February) was at Biltmore Prep Academy in Creighton School District with a K-7th grade Spanish Immersion program. This has allowed the local DLI programs to network, show their program and engage in collaborative dialogue. All sites that participate agree to share the Fidelity Assurances as their framework for successful DLI programs. Next month is Gavilan Peak in Deer Valley with Chinese Immersion on March 2.

    Contact Cristina Ladas if you would like to be added to the invite list: cladas (at)


  • 14 Jan 2017 3:19 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    Beginning with the graduating class of 2017, any student who shows proficiency in English and at least one other language is eligible to receive the Arizona Seal of Biliteracy. This seal would be affixed to the student’s diploma and noted on the official transcript. School District and Charter Schools who choose to participate would notify the ADE of intent to participate, designate at least one individual to serve as coordinator of the program, submit proper reports at the end of the school year and make available to parents and students information regarding the program. Visit the Seal of Biliteracy website for information, forms, and a list of State Board of Education approved language assessments.

    World and Native Language Advisory Group Application Calling all District and Charter World and Native Language Leaders! ADE is putting together an advisory committee to collaborate on key issues facing the World and Native Language educators, students and schools. The committee will meet four times a year to discuss issues and put together professional development opportunities. The committee is open to K-12 educators and district leaders. Click Here for the Application. We will begin meeting in Spring 2017.

  • 14 Aug 2016 3:27 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    Upon receiving the Gail Guntermann Professional Development Fellowship and the Tia Tula Scholarship for Spanish Teachers, a week of my summer was spent collaborating with other Spanish Teachers from the U.S abroad. 10 teachers were selected from across the US and Canada for this program. During this week long experience we lived together, attended workshops and explored the city of Salamanca, Spain.

    As a first generation college graduate I would’ve never imagined myself studying abroad in Spain, it had always been a dream. AZLA was able to make this dream come true through the Gail Guntermann Professional Development Fellowship.

    During my time in Spain I was able to meet some amazing educators from across the United States. It was truly astonishing to collaborate and share ideas with such a distinguished group. During our workshops we were pleasantly greeted by the teachers and staff at Tia Tula Spanish School.

    The school has agreements with different universities and students can earn European University Credits ECTS thanks to its courses. The University credits can be transferred to any college or university in the world. They also offer summer courses for high school students. I’m definitely going to take a group when possible. This would be a great opportunity for them to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and culture.

    I am grateful for the experiences I shared with fellow educators during our time in Spain. We still keep in contact and are planning a few collaboration projects from our respective positions. This experience truly left me inspired to continue to grow as an educator not just for myself but also for my students, I can also inspire other students to believe that anything is possible. The possibilities are endless. I want to take this time to thank AZLA for their support.

    Anaid Jordan Spanish Teacher at Pima Partnership Performing Arts High School Tucson, Arizona


  • 14 May 2016 3:18 PM | Margaret K. Alvarado (Administrator)

    Arizona now has a state Seal of Biliteracy thanks to Cave Creek Unified School’s World Language Programs.

    Thirty (30) Cactus Shadows High School Seniors have met the criteria to receive the Cave Creek School District’s Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish or French. Cave Creek Unified School District has always advocated for multilingual graduates as a way of sending students out into the world ready to compete in our global economy. With well-articulated World Language Programs from kinder through 12th grade on all its campuses, students are able to meet the high levels of language proficiency required by the district’s criteria on a national exam that covers speaking, listening, reading and writing in another language. This is the program that prompted State Superintendent of Public Schools Diane Douglas to develop an AZ Statewide Seal (SB 1239). On May 12, 2016, after moving through the House and Senate with unanimous support, Governor Ducey signed the bill in to law. The next step will be to launch a statewide student competition for the AZ Seal of Biliteracy artwork and pull a committee together to determine what the statewide criteria will be. AZ becomes the 19th state to establish a Seal of Biliteracy.

    Questions? Contact Cristina Ladas, CCUSD World Language Programs Coordinator at 480-518-4289 or

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