2013 Texas Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Awards Announced

Wed, May 1, 2013

2013 Texas Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Awards Announced

The Texas Language Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Texas Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Awards. UT-Austin students submitted nominations late last fall based on their teacher’s commitment, knowledge, passion, and ability to challenge. The TLC received a record number of well-deserving nominations, and after careful review of all of them, members of the TLC Advisory Committee chose one winner from each of two categories: tenured, tenure-track, or lecturer and graduate assistant instructor. This year’s winners are:










TLC Director Tom Garza and FLTE awardee Mahmoud Al-Batal

Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Director of the Arabic Flagship Program

Internationally recognized as an innovative educator, Dr. Al-Batal has helped make UT-Austin’s Arabic program become the best in the country. Since 2011, he has served as the director of the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) and is currently its interim director. Dr. Al-Batal also served as associate director and chair of the Arabic Board of the National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC). Since 2007, Dr. Al-Batal has served as the director of the UT Arabic Flagship Program. This federally funded program has produced more than forty undergraduates with superior proficiency in Arabic in the past five years, which is an unheard of feat in any other language program.

In addition to his published books, articles, and grants for his outstanding work, Dr. Al-Batal won the MLA/ADFL Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession in 2004 and was also a semifinalist for the Friar Centennial Teaching Award in 2011. With his co-author, Dr. Al-Batal developed the Al-Kitaab series Arabic curriculum, which is considered to be the gold standard of the field and has been used for over seventeen years by over half a million teachers and students. Moreover, Dr. Al-Batal’s content-based website Aswaat Arabiyya has received over a quarter of a million different visitors around the world since the site moved to UT-Austin four years ago. Dr. Al-Batal is receiving the TLC Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Award for his outstanding teaching of upper-division Arabic language courses.










Dean Esther Raizen, FLTE awardee Chuck Oughton, TLC Director Tom Garza, and Classics Chair Stephen White

Charles "Chuck" Oughton
Assistant Instructor and doctoral student in the Department of Classics

Mr. Oughton is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Classics. He received his MA from UT-Austin after receiving his BA from Utah State University. Mr. Oughton’s research interests include Latin and Greek Historiography and Biography and Roman Republican History. He is very interested in mentoring as well as teaching, and he has an easy rapport with his students. He believes that the best way to understand the language is to read the “real Latin” of “real Romans.” He strives to incorporate into his courses a variety of group and individual activities that enable students to consider texts from new perspective. Mr. Oughton also played a big part in developing an online Google Docs archive of Greek and Latin teaching materials. Mr. Oughton is receiving the TLC Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Award for his inspiring teaching of first-year and intermediate Latin.   

Thanks to the students for taking the time to nominate their best teachers, thanks to the Advisory Committee for reviewing the many nominations, and congratulations to this year’s winners and to all of the excellent nominees we have in the foreign language departments at UT-Austin!

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