RIFLA Awards

RIFLA offers a large number of awards to both students and teachers!

Applicants must be RIFLA members or students of RIFLA members. Click on the award name below, edit and then submit your awards application electronically by following the directions on the document.


Awards for Teachers (see also External Awards below):

The Mary L. Borra Excellence Award*
Open to RIFLA members for a creative project beneficial to the world languages profession.

RIFLA Teacher of the Year

Open to outstanding educators from within RIFLA membership

John O. Pastore Teacher Study Stipend*
Open to RIFLA members planning to study abroad

RIFLA Teacher Professional Development Stipend

Open to all current RIFLA members who will be teaching during the next school year.


Novice Teacher Award*
Open to novice teachers who have three or fewer years teaching experience.

Awards for Students:

RIFLA Elementary / Middle Grades Annual Poster Contest$50

Open to all elementary and middle grades students whose teachers are members of RIFLA. Awards will be made for the best poster of grades K-4 and grades 5-8. This year's theme is Multilingualism Empowers Tomorrow's Leaders

RIFLA High School Multimedia Contest$100

Open to high school students whose teachers are members of RIFLA.

Click here to watch the 2017 winning video

RIFLA College Study Stipend*
Open to college students planning to study abroad.

RIFLA Student Ambassador Scholarship*
Open to high school students pursuing an immersion/language experience who have made a significant contribution to their community through the use of a language other than English.
$1000 towards a program

RIFLA Student of the Year*
Open to high school world language students with outstanding academic performance whose teachers are members of RIFLA.

Community Awards:

Norma Garnett Advocacy Award*

Open to a community member outside of the field of language education who would be worthy of receiving the Norma Garnett Advocacy Award. The nominee will have demonstrated advocacy for the development and/or betterment of world language study in our schools. Selected annually by the RIFLA Advocacy Committee.

*If the award recipient is unable to attend the RIFLA Spring Dinner Meeting, a representative from the school must be present to collect the award.

Deadline: March 30, 2024

Recently granted RIFLA awards:

Rhode Island For Languages Association is pleased to announce that Ms. Lora Calise, World Languages teacher in the Smithfield School District, has been awarded the title RIFLA World Languages Teacher of the Year 2023-24.

In a resounding victory, Ms. Lora Calise’s stellar performance in the Portfolio and Interview evaluations underscored her passion for teaching, decades of experience, and active engagement in professional development.

Ms. Calise's portfolio, adorned with glowing letters of recommendation, highlighted her commitment to world language standards and innovative teaching practices. Her extensive curriculum vitae showcased a rich tapestry of experiences, including leadership roles, conference presentations, and curriculum enhancements.

In the interview with RIFLA awards committee, Ms. Calise shared insights into effective teaching strategies, addressing diverse learner needs, and creating culturally enriching experiences for students. Her commitment to ACTFL World Languages standards, professional organizations and advocacy for language acquisition in a global context were pivotal points in her winning the award.

As Ms. Calise assumes the mantle of Teacher of the Year, her accolades reflect not just her past achievements but a dedication that extends beyond the classroom. Join us in applauding Ms. Calise's well-deserved recognition and her ongoing commitment to shaping the future of World Language education.

Awards granted in May of 2023:

The year 2023 theme is Multilingual Minds Achieve and the elementary school winner for the poster is a student at State Street School in Westerly, RI. Emmeline Phillips, teacher Dori Carpenter:

Middle School Poster Winner at Jamestown Lawn School is Ruby Galle, teacher Michaela Onosko:

RIFLA Student of the Year 2023 was awarded to Solange Daluz. Her language teachers are Carolyn Lawrence and Marlaina Corpolongo at Pilgrim High School in Warwick, RI.

Student of the year applicants are evaluated on the basis of their academic performance and interest in world language study as evidenced by their transcript, letters of recommendation, and their personal statement. The applicant must be a high school senior who is currently enrolled in the third year level or higher in his or her chosen language. The applicant must have a 3.25 overall GPA or higher as noted on the transcript.

This year’s winner impressed the nominations committee with her personal strength, academic achievement and high level of skills in French and Italian and desire to learn other languages as well as her commitment to sharing her love of languages and cultures with her school community. In addition, her life experiences are inspiring and to be commended. We were especially moved by her ability to ensure that all voices are heard by breaking down barriers with language and cultural empathy and we know she will continue to do great things in support of multilingualism and multiculturalism.

Each year RIFLA recognizes a full time novice language teacher with three years or less experience in a Rhode Island school.This year’s recipient for the RIFLA novice teacher award is Ms. Rebecca Hobin:

Ms. Hobin exemplifies what it means to be living your passion. Her dedication to her students, her studies and her profession is evident through her letters of recommendation.

Her supervisors share that her positive attitude is contagious and that she is a team player who is highly creative, enthusiastic and a role model for both veteran and novice teachers. I quote “she epitomizes the ideals of a dedicated educator because of her energy, creativity, intercultural knowledge”

RIFLA Advocacy Award was given to Dr. Joann Hammadou:

As a retired professor of French at the University of Rhode Island, JoAnn's expertise in language acquisition and French language and culture is unparalleled. Her dedication to promoting the learning of world languages as a means of fostering global understanding is truly inspiring. Her research on second language comprehension in French has been widely published and influential in shaping the field.

She has also conducted groundbreaking studies on portfolio use in world language teacher preparation and teacher evaluation. In addition to her research, Dr. Hammadou has been an active member of various organizations related to education.  Her work has been widely recognized and celebrated in the field of foreign language education, including being the recipient of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages 2005 Paul Pimsleur National Award for Outstanding Research in Foreign Language Education.

 The RIFLA study stipend of $500 is awarded for a teacher who is planning to participate in professional development in the next calendar year. Approved professional development activities may include language courses, conferences or workshops that will enrich the member's teaching experience and align to academic and/or professional goals. 

This year’s winner is Ms. Sandra Severinkangas, a Spanish teacher at Paul Cuffee Charter School in Providence. Ms. Severinkangas will attend the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese annual convention in Salamanca, Spain. 

To Contact RIFLA:

Email: riflainfo@gmail.com

Mailing address: RIFLA, PO Box 95Foster, RI 02825-1326

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