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Alumna honored by state's foreign language educators

  |   Kristen B. Morales   |   Permalink   |   Alumni,   Kudos

Carrie Woodcock (M.Ed. '08), head of world languages and global initiatives for the Hall County School System, was given the Administrative Support of World Languages award from the Foreign Language Association of Georgia. The award recognizes a dean, superintendent, principal or other administrator in Georgia who has shown strong support for world languages.

The award was presented at the Foreign Language Association of Georgia's annual conference, which took place in August in Atlanta.

Woodcock pioneered dual-language instruction in Hall County when she helped launch the district's World Language Academy in 2007. The school's success inspired more language immersion programs in the district as well as the idea of offering a bilingual seal on diplomas.

"The beginning of this innovative language school would not have been as successful without the knowledge, professional learning and leadership she provided the staff and the community regarding language acquisition and cultural understandings," said David Moody, director of elementary education for Hall County Schools. Moody also served as principal of World Language Academy.

"(Her) leadership is critical in helping prepare our students for an increasingly connected world," he added. "Our system is fortunate to have Ms. Woodcock's leadership as we move to the forefront of education specific to global studies and language learning."

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, a professor of TESOL and World Language Education in the College's department of language and literacy education, recalled working with Woodcock as a graduate student and advisee. When Woodcock learned in class about the state's first and only public language immersion program, located in Clayton County, she began advocating for a bilingual program in Hall County.

Opening World Language Academy, said Cahnmann-Taylor, successfully addressed two issues in Hall County: Providing Hispanic students access to academic content and giving them higher native and second language skills while providing native English-speaking students the chance to learn other languages and cultures.

"World Language Academy shifts the discourse on 'foreign' language education from one that is distant from Georgia to one that recognizes world languages in our very own communities and capitalizes on their potential for all children," said Cahnmann-Taylor. "She is a phenomenal educator and administrator."

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