Purpose and Eligibility: This award may be conferred annually on either students in teacher-training programs or beginning teachers (in their first or second year of teaching in Iowa). Nominees must show exceptional promise and potential to become outstanding world language educators.Student nominees must be currently enrolled in, or have completed, student teaching (or equivalent) of a teacher-training program at any Iowa institution of higher learning. Each teacher-training program may nominate one student from each language.
Selection Criteria: Demonstration of interest in world language education and potential for excellence in teaching.
Award: Recognition at the annual Iowa World Language Association Conference, an honorary plaque, paid registration fee for the following year’s I.W.L.A. Conference, and a $100 stipend to be spent on educational materials (invoices must be submitted to the association treasurer for confirmation and payment). Up to three winners may be named each year.
Procedure: Cooperating teachers, university methods professors, mentors, or other supervisors may nominate candidates using the online form below. Note that nominator will have to write a brief statement of nomination, outlining why the nominee merits receiving the award. Upon receipt of this nomination, the IWLA Awards Committee will notify all candidates, who must then submit a résumé/CV, a short essay (written in English), and proof of successful completion of a student teaching experience.
Michael Oates is a name synonymous with the teaching of language, culture, linguistics, and pedagogy for thousands of students and teachers across Iowa, the nation, and around the world. Mike was a professor of French at the University of Northern Iowa from 1967 to 2003. He co-authored several books and served the world language profession with distinction. He was Vice-President of the Iowa Foreign Language Association from 1984-1986. He was President from 1986-1988. In 1989, he was named the IFLA Outstanding Educator of the Year. In that same year, he received the Nelson Brooks Award for Excellence in Teaching Culture from ACTFL. Mike was a certified tester for the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Testing Project and a member of the commission which wrote the Iowa Guide to Curriculum Development in Foreign Languages. He was a also a member of the Governor's Task Force on Foreign Language and International Studies. Mike Oates was a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. In 1999, he received the Iowa Foreign Language Association's Distinguished Service Award, this organization's highest honor. People talk about a coach being a “players’ coach,” a coach who cares and nurtures his or her players, always encouraging them to do better, to push themselves a little harder. Michael was a “students’ teacher.” He too, encouraged, pushed, and complimented, as he taught. “He made every student feel special, nurtured, supported, and loved! I will strive my entire career to be as caring, as gentle, as loving as Mike was, to my own students and colleagues. He had a unique gift, and we, his students, were the recipients of it” (-- quotation from Keeka Baedke). Michael D. Oates passed away in 2009.