2018 TX Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Awards Announced!

Tue, April 10, 2018
2018 TX Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Awards Announced!
Bernadeta Kaminska Receiving Her Award

The Texas Language Center is delighted to announce Berndeta Kaminska and Devon Donohue-Bergeler as the winners of the 2018 TFLTE Award.

Each year the TLC awards two foreign language educators—one UT faculty member and one graduate student Assistant Instructor—with a plaque and monetary prize, recognizing them for their superior knowledge of and enthusiasm for teaching language and culture.

The process of selecting a winner begins with student nominations of their professors, which are then reviewed by members of the TLC Advisory Committee. Ms. Kaminska and Ms. Donohue-Bergeler were selected from over 120 nominations in 16 different languages.

 

Bernadeta Kaminska with her Polish Class' Students. Bernadeta is a Polish Language Lecturer in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies. She was born and raised in Poland and immigrated to the US in 1993, coming to Austin in 1998. She obtained her B.A and M.A in German Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University, one of the most prestigious Liberal Arts Universities in Poland.

The students in her Polish classes often cited her kindness, inspirational character, and compassion for her students as what makes her teaching excellent. Ms. Kaminska not only teaches her students the language, she also teaches them how to be pro-active learners of the language outside the classroom. Going the extra mile to ensure student success is the fundamental element of her teaching.

 

TLC Director Dr.Garza Presenting the TFLTE Award to Devon Donohue-BergelerDevon is a Ph.D. student in Germanic Studies with an interest in Foreign Language Acquisition in a Study Abroad Setting. She holds a BA in German Language and Literature with magna cum laude from Boston University and an MA in German Studies/Culture and Communication from the Dresden University of Technology. Her current research explores uptake of drama-based pedagogy and the factors that help or hinder engagement. Areas of broader interests include Experiential Learning, Innovative Pedagogy.

Devon’s students commented her creativity, usage of culture as an effective, interesting and fun way to teach as well as her caring and inspirational personality that fueled her students' eagerness to learn German. They have also highlighted the strong sense of unity and cooperation she spreads throughout the classroom, making the classroom a supportive learning space for students of all levels.

Both of recipients exhibit exceptional achievement in language education with innovative teaching methods and, in doing so, have translated a passion for language and culture to their students.

The TLC is pleased to continue its tradition of recognizing extraordinary foreign language instruction by honoring these two amazing educators. These awards would not be possible without the support of the College of Liberal Arts, with special thanks to Dean Flores and Dean Raizen for acknowledging the importance of languages at UT-Austin.

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