Lincoln-Way North Teacher Recognized for Contributions to Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
A Lincoln-Way North High School teacher has been singled out for her contributions to the structuring, stability and image of the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Linda Egnatz, who teaches Spanish at Lincoln-Way North, received the President’s Award for Building ICTFL at the Fall Conference of the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, which was held Oct. 21 in Tinley Park.
The award honors Illinois educators distinguish themselves through service to ICTFL in organizational development.
“We at ICTFL are thrilled to recognize the amazing foreign language teachers of Illinois,” stated Awards Committee co-chairs Samantha Godden-Chmielowicz and Kimberly Yee. “We know that teachers cannot make the differences that they do in the lives of their students without support, so Gracias! Merci! Danke! For your support of Illinois Foreign Language teachers.”
Egnatz has been teaching Spanish for 30 years. She has instructed various levels of Spanish and integrated technology into the curriculum. She has organized many travel trips to numerous countries, including Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay.
Next year, she will be taking students to Ecuador and Galapagos where they will practice their Spanish-speaking skills with shopkeepers, waiters and hotel staff; compare and contrast the Ecuadorian and U.S. cultures; visit an international school; complete a community service project; and learn about the conservation of marine resources and the impact tourism has on the preserve.
The tour will have a cross-curricular focus, showing students how they can use language in other career fields – such as science. To support these goals, Lincoln-Way science teachers Camille Gonzales-Jensen and Elizabeth Conroy will be leading science activities on the tour.
“My goal is to help students visualize language study as a compliment to their future career goals and a door-opener to greater opportunities and salary possibilities,” said Egnatz.
In addition to her work with students, Egnatz has given numerous sessions at ICTFL Conferences, which she co-chaired in 2011 and will again in 2012. She is also the active First Vice President and Webmaster.
“Receiving this award was very meaningful because it represents not just my efforts, but recognizes the collaboration of dedicated ICTFL members who are working together to serve foreign language teachers throughout Illinois,” said Egnatz. “As an organization, we want to provide teachers with opportunities for professional development and with the resources needed to really help their students become not just familiar with a language's vocabulary or grammar, but to be proficient users of the language in their everyday life.”