Skip to content


Online application & nomination forms can be found clicking here: Application/Nomination Forms. Be sure to check the specific requirements for each award, scholarship or grant. Questions should be sent to Liz Matchett at

Outstanding Teacher Award

The Outstanding Teacher Award is bestowed on a world languages and culture educator who exemplifies exceptional qualities which demonstrate passion for teaching and learning. Affiliates and CLTA members may nominate a CLTA member colleague for Outstanding Teacher. There may be one or more Outstanding Teachers per year; awards are granted on the basis of evidence-based qualifications. The Awards Committee will not consider self-nominations. CLTA Board members may not nominate for this award. Click on title for requirements.

California World Language Project Teacher Leader Award

This award is presented by the California World Language Project to the individual who in addition to being an outstanding teacher, has made a significant contribution to world language and culture teacher training and/or professional development, and is considered a leader in the profession. Affiliates and individuals may nominate CLTA members. The Awards Committee will not consider self-nominations. CLTA Board members may not nominate for this award. Click on title for requirements..

The Hal Wingard Lifetime Achievement Award

This award recognizes an individual’s dedication and commitment to the language teaching profession over an extended period of time. Nominees must meet strict criteria. It is intended to be awarded only when there is a deserving candidate, even if there are multiple applicants, and no more than once per year. The award is named for the founder and first Executive Director, a life-long embodiment of the spirit of CLTA.
Hal was the innovator and creator of the Summer Seminar, the LangAbroD travel award, and many other CLTA programs. Affiliates and CLTA members may nominate. Click on title for requirements.

The Lorraine D’Ambruoso Award for Meritorious Service to the Profession

This award recognizes an individual who has rendered extraordinary service over time to the profession AND to CLTA. 
This award is named for our second Executive Director and CLTA past president, Lorraine D’Ambruoso, who not only exemplified best practices and innovative, engaging teaching for decades, but who also served in district and organizational leadership capacities, and who continues to serve CLTA and many other language and culture organizations.  Lorraine has been a tireless advocate for language teaching and learning.
The award is intended to be presented to one deserving candidate per year. The award may not be presented in a given year if there are no candidates or if the nominees do not meet the criteria, as determined by the Awards Committee. Affiliates and CLTA members may nominate. Click on title for requirements.


President’s Award

This award is given by the President to an outstanding individual, not in the teaching profession, who has shown extraordinary support to language education. Nomination for the award is at the discretion of CLTA’s president, with the approval of CLTA’s board of directors. There is no nomination form, although it is appropriate for members to make recommendations in writing to the president.

Teacher of the Year (TOY)

Each year the Awards Committee chooses a truly extraordinary world language and culture educator who will participate in the Teacher of the Year program. The CLTA TOY first competes at the regional level at the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) which is held annually in one of the member states. The winner of the Regional Level goes on to the American Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) level, held at the annual ACTFL Convention & Expo at one of the member states. CLTA TOYs are chosen from a short list of former and current Outstanding Teachers and Teacher Leaders, and others who demonstrate the qualities most likely to be recognized at the Regional and National levels. The winner must submit a professional portfolio, including video, and participate in a rigorous interview process on both levels. The application by CLTA and the portfolio deadline for submission are typically November and January. Self-nominations for this award are not accepted, although suggestions for colleagues, made in writing to the Awards Chair may be considered.

Back to top