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World Language Teachers: Teach in Nebraska

The following positions are posted on the Teach in Nebraska website at

French 9-12 (Part-time), Lincoln Pius X Catholic High School, Lincoln
French 9-12, Duchesne Academy, Omaha
German 7-8, Westside Community Schools, Omaha
Spanish 1-12, Lindsay Holy Family, Lindsay
Spanish 7-12, Ansley Public Schools, Ansley
Spanish 7-12, High Plains Community Schools, Polk
Spanish 7-12, Maxwell Public Schools, Maxwell
Spanish 7-12, Morrill Public Schools, Morrill
Spanish 7-12, St. Mary’s Catholic School, O’Neill
Spanish 9-12, Arthur County Schools, Arthur
Spanish 9-12, Falls City Public Schools, Falls City
Spanish 9-12, Fillmore Central Public Schools, Geneva
Spanish 9-12, Grand Island Public Schools, Grand Island
Spanish 9-12, Lourdes Central Catholic School, Nebraska City
Spanish 9-12, Wilber-Clatonia Schools, Wilber
Spanish Distance Education, ESU 5, Beatrice
Spanish K-8, St. Thomas More School, Omaha
World Language K-12, Cedar Bluffs Public School, Cedar Bluffs

Professional Development Opportunities for World Language Teachers

Francophone Film and Literature Course French 4950/8956 at University of Nebraska Omaha

In fall 2019, UNO will offer Francophone Film and Literature Tuesdays from 4:30-7:10 with Dr. Patrice Proulx. Some of the films to be discussed include Incendies, Persepolis, L’Ange du Goudron, and Black Girl. The course focuses on a selection of contemporary films and short readings dealing with the Caribbean, Africa, North Africa, and Quebec. One of the primary objectives is the development of critical viewing and reading skills that will allow students to reflect more productively on the social and aesthetic themes in these works. Critical issues to consider are immigration, the construction of identity, the effects of colonialism on different societies, and the geo-political and cultural contexts of the films and the literary works. For more information, contact Dr. Patrice Proulx at 402-554-4839 or

World Language Distinguished Scholars Announced

The World Language Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes Nebraska students for their leadership in language learning, commitment to language study, appreciation for cultural diversity, and communicative competence. Students were nominated by their teachers then completed a submission portfolio.

High Honors

Josephine Anderson
Crete H.S.
Teacher: Angela Wagoner

Turner Blick
Fremont H.S.
Teacher: Brenda Schiermeyer

Alma Dimas
Meridian H.S.
Teacher: Maria Nieves Ruiz Garcia

Miah Hoppens
Ogallala H.S.
Teacher: Rosa Zimmerman

Sukanya Kennamthiang
Brownell Talbot School
Teacher: Michael Recker

Angela Kwambamba
Lincoln Southwest H.S.
Teacher: Alexandra Van Zandt

Nae Mae
Omaha Central H.S.
Teacher: Wang Li

Brianna Nelson
Millard West H.S.
Teacher: Candida Kraska

Matthew Neville
Ralston H.S.
Teacher: Jamie Honke

Lucy Peterkin
Millard North H.S.
Teacher: Theresa Jensen

Hannah Rethmeier
Crete H.S.
Teacher: Angela Wagoner

Ricards Umbrasko
Omaha Burke H.S.
Teacher: Ching Yuk Lam


Samantha Aguilar
Omaha Burke H.S.
Teacher: Ching Yuk Lam

Emily Baier
Syracuse Dunbar Avoca H.S.
Teacher: Jacqueline Mohr

Corrin Day
Norfolk H.S.
Teacher: Martha Thompson

Justin De Haai Badilla
Millard North H.S.
Teacher: Ryan Foehlinger

Sadie Finch
Fort Calhoun H.S.
Teacher: Anita Saalfeld

Carly Fortune
Leyton H.S.
Teacher: Ashley Lndholm

Paige Gowing
Nebraska City H.S.
Teacher: Kevin Mohr

Elizabeth Hernandez
Douglas County West H.S.
Teacher: Mary Clare Liescheski

Rayna Hladky
Tekamah-Herman H.S.
Teacher: Luis Fernandez

Kirby Hughes
West Point Senior H.S.
Teacher: Meghan Schneider

Andrew Johanningsmeier
Westside H.S.
Teacher: Anne Johnson

Madison Jones
Mullen Jr./Sr. H.S.
Teacher: Kelly Garcia

Ryder Kennedy
Bellevue East H.S.
Teacher: Gwen Steele

Antonia Krasser
Crete H.S.
Teacher: Julie Schumacher

Amanda La-O-Cartaya
Crete H.S.
Teacher: Julie Schumacher

Theresa Nguyen
Omaha Burke H.S.
Teacher: Ching Yuk Lam

Mia Ortiz
Syracuse Dunbar Avoca H.S.
Teacher: Jacqueline Mohr

Chanakya Pandya
Sidney H.S.
Teacher: Brett Avila

Hailey Phipps
Mullen Jr./Sr. H.S.
Teacher: Kelly Garcia

Josie Reid
Ponca H.S.
Teacher: Jill Camargo

Tate Schmidt
Hastings Catholic H.S.
Teacher: Mikayla Niederklein

Savanna Vacek
Omaha Central H.S.
Teacher: Melissa Kuskie

Julia Weill
Afonza Davis M.S.
Teacher: Catherine Scurlock

Columbus Spanish Day Showcases Student Performances

Columbus High School Spanish teacher Liliana Velasco led Columbus High Schools first Spanish Competition Day. Velasco credits her department for their work, Principal Steve Woodside for support and encouragement, and Band teacher Jeff Peabody who worked with students to co-create musical performances and to provide technical support.

The event was open to any student currently enrolled in Spanish 3 or higher. Teachers submitted registration to Columbus High School. Students competed in Drama, Folk Dance, Music, Poetry, and Poster/Art.

Fourteen schools registered to attend with 210 students. Unfortunately, the original event date was rescheduled due to flooding in the area. The nine high schools able to attend on the rescheduled date were Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca, Wilber Clatonia, York, David City, Columbus, Cornerstone Christian, Platteview, Plainview, and Norris.

Columbus High School Judge and students at Columbus Spanish Day

Vive le Français: French Immersion Weekend A Success

The American Association of Teachers of French Nebraska chapter hosted twenty teachers and sixty students at Camp Carol Joy Holling on March 30-31, 2019. The students choreographed and lip synced French videos. As teams, they competed in a Ratatouille-themed breakout room and various French games. The chefs prepared French meals, and the students ended the night with a bonfire and s’mores.

If you would like to participate, visit the AATF Nebraska Facebook page (NATF Nebraska Association of Teachers of French) or email AATF Nebraska President Cara Heminger at

French Team Posters French Prize Table

Wunderbar Together: German Students’ Convention

The American Association of Teachers of German Nebraska chapter hosted German Students’ Convention April 6, 2019 at School Middle School in Lincoln. The students competed in skits, music videos, spelling, trivia contests, poetry, cake baking, art, poster, and directed dialog.

This year’s participating high schools were Bellevue East, Bellevue West, Columbus, Gretna, Lincoln East, Lincoln High, Lincoln Southeast, Millard North, Omaha Burke, and Westside. Millard North Middle School also competed. A total of 200 students participated, honoring the theme Wunderbar Together, that was established by the German Embassy.

If you would like to participate next year, visit the AATG Nebraska website at

College Connections: There’s an Office For That

There are many places on campus to use language skills, and not all are in the Modern Language Building. Here are some places to know at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

  • Office of Global Strategies: OGS coordinates and supports global activities throughout the campus and abroad. It is the oversight office for the following offices.
  • International Student and Scholar Office: The function of ISSO is to supports international students. However, ISSO often provides opportunities for international students to connect to Nebraskans.
  • Education Abroad Office: EAO works with all departments to provide resources before, during, and after experiences abroad.

University of Kansas Invites NE Schools to International Day

The University of Kansas is pleased to announce pre-registration for the first annual World Languages Fair to be held Saturday, October 19th, 2019. The event will bring high-school students to the Lawrence campus for a day focused on exploring world languages and cultures. Sessions will include mini-lessons in a range of languages, presentations on target cultures, and discussions of how intercultural competence can enhance different fields of study. During an extended lunch period there will also be information booths where students can learn more about language-related scholarships, study abroad opportunities, and internationally-focused student organizations on campus.

The event is free for all participants. All registered attendees will receive a free lunch and the opportunity to win a free t-shirt and other prizes. Schools are responsible for their own transportation costs to the event, but schools unable to afford those costs are asked to contact the Open Language Resource Center ( about possible support.
While there are plans to expand participation in the coming years, we can only accommodate 300-350 students for the 2019 event and will be choosing schools to ensure some degree of geographical balance. Please fill out the online form ( to place your school into consideration for one of these limited spaces. Individual students, including those being home-schooled, are also invited to contact the Open Language Resource Center about participation. All applications for pre-registration must be received by Friday, May 3, 2019.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the end of May. Additional information, including the specific sessions that will be offered during the event, will be sent out in the latter part of the summer. Updates will also be provided on the Open Language Resource Center website ( as they become available.

Meet Your NILA Board: Vice President Katy Cattlett

Katy Cattlett, Vice President
Supervisor of Dual Language and World Languages
Omaha Public Schools

What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
My path to becoming a language teacher was unexpected. Originally, I wanted to teach English as a Second Language. My university required extensive coursework in a language other than English and I chose to study Spanish in order to hopefully communicate with my future students’ families. Eventually, I became bilingual and started teaching in bilingual programs. I found dual language and found my passion!
In five words or less, describe your classroom approach.
Enriched education for all!
What power do you find in speaking another language?
I have authentic access to others’ perspectives and experiences. With that access comes great responsibility. It is my responsibility to treasure the gift of a language that has opened so many doors for me. I must use this gift to increase equity for all.

Supporting Students in K-12 to Post-secondary Transition

College applications were filed months ago and acceptance letters are on the way. April is a perfect month to have those last-minute discussions with seniors about preparing for college. Here are some possible ways to prepare your K-12 students. The post-secondary transition is often intimidating to students. Creating transition opportunities in your classroom lowers their anxiety and increases their chance of success.

Reach out to local schools
Contact an instructor at your local community college or university to share typical expectations and to describe the curriculum.
Plan a school visit
Arrange a school visit that focuses on the language learning opportunities offered in a nearby school. Even if several of your students have plans to attend elsewhere, this should prepare this to know what questions to ask and what resources to find at the school they do attend.
Career Discussions
Use a guideline like ACTFL’s Oral Proficiency in the Workplace handout to help students assess how much language instruction will be necessary to support the career of their choice.
Connect to Language Opportunities
Hopefully, students will find a myriad of opportunities to use language on campus. They won’t know where to look until you give them directions. Suggest chat groups or round tables, language partners, online language learning services, trips, study abroad programs, and other college language experiences.
The Language Lab
Language labs are back but in new ways. If your school has not used a language lab, you may want to find an example online to show your students.