The Ferdinand DiBartolo NYS Distinguished Foreign Language Leadership Award was presented this year to Elizabeth Slocum.


Slocum is a teacher of French and Spanish at the middle, high school and undergraduate levels. Slocum holds permanent New York State Certification in French and Spanish, as well as certification as a School District Administrator and Supervisor. She currently is employed by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership as a 7th and 8th grade Spanish teacher and serves both the Wyoming and Pavilion Central School districts.


“Serving on the executive board of New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers has been an incredible experience. It has been an honor to represent New York State teachers and students of World Languages at the local, state and national levels,” Slocum said. “I teach because I believe that languages are at the heart of the human experience. Languages will open doors and make connections for our students at home and abroad.”


As a 25-plus year member of New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT), Slocum has been an active member of the association through her participation on various committees as well as serving on the Board of Directors. She holds the distinction of chairing not one but two Annual Conferences, including the 100th Annual Conference and Gala. She was selected to represent NYSAFLT at American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’s (ACTFL) inaugural Leadership Initiative for Language Learning (LILL) and remains an active member of LILL Cohort 1. She will participate in a LILL panel at ACTFL 2019 in Washington, DC on the topic of Growing Our Leadership.


In 2017, Slocum was honored by Genesee Community College with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence as an Adjunct Instructor of World Languages. She is currently employed by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and works with the Genesee Region Teachers’ Center as a member of the Policy Board and coordinator of the regional World Language Teachers’ Network.


The Ferdinand DiBartolo NYS Distinguished Foreign Language Leadership Award is presented annually to the President of NYSAFLT in recognition of his/her dedication and service to our organization and to the profession. Ferdinand DiBartolo was a pioneer in the establishment of what was then called “The New York State Federation of Foreign Language Teachers.” He was a foreign language leader and an officer of the federation. In l967, he received the "50th Anniversary Award" of the organization. He was at the forefront of the effort to ensure the continuance of the Modern Language Journal when ACTFL was formed.


The study of world languages fosters an appreciation and understanding of other cultures, promotes a better understanding of one’s own language and culture, supports learning and improves performance in other content areas, and cultivates the qualities of global citizens who are well-educated and prepared to compete professionally in an increasingly interconnected world. Research has shown that early language instruction not only facilitates the language learning process, but results in more native-like pronunciation and fluency in the second language. In addition, early language instruction has been shown to strengthen students’ performance in their first language as well as in other content areas.


NYSAFLT is a professional organization dedicated to providing the foreign language teachers of New York State with professional development opportunities and promoting the study of foreign languages and cultures. For more information about NYSAFLT, visit the website at http://www.nysaflt.org.