Faculty 2014 Texas Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Award Announced

Mon, March 31, 2014


FLTE faculty awardee
Laila Familiar with Dean Esther Raizen and TLC Director Tom Garza.

Ms. Laila Familiar and her Intensive Arabic VI classroom received some surprise visitors today.  Dr. Thomas J. Garza, director of the Texas Language Center; College of Liberal Arts Dean Esther Raizen; and Middle Eastern Studies Chair, Kamran Scot Agahie dropped in to present Ms. Familiar with the 2014 Texas Foreign Language Teaching Excellence award!

The TFLTE award is based on language student nominations, and Ms. Familiar received many heart-felt and enthusiastic nominations from her students.

Over the last six years, Ms. Familiar has taught Arabic courses at all levels, including the three-year intensive language sequence as well as content courses on Arabic literature and culture. She also coordinates the 2nd and 3rd year Arabic courses, and has served as the director of the Arabic Summer Institute the past two years where the program has seen student proficiency gains under her leadership. 

Ms. Familiar’s students describe her as holding very high expectations while offering endless encouragement and empathy. Striking this balance is what pushes her students to reach the proficiency goals she sets for them. Both students and faculty also consistently reference Ms. Familiar’s focus, organization, and preparation for every class.

Congratulations, Laila, for receiving this well-deserved recognition!



Middle Eastern Studies Chair Kamran Scot Aghaie, FLTE faculty awardee Laila Familiar, CoLA Dean Esther Raizen, and TLC Director Tom Garza.

The TLC would like to thank all of the students who took the time to nominate a record number of outstanding language instructors here at UT-Austin and to thank our reviewing committee for taking on the difficult task of choosing from our great nominees.

TFLTE awards are given to one professor or lecturer and one graduate assistant instructor. Stay tuned—the graduate AI award recipient will be announced soon!

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