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ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- ACTFL is pleased to announce the 2022 National Language Teacher of the Year has been awarded to Heather Sweetser, an Arabic instructor at the University of New Mexico (UNM), and a regional finalist representing the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT). The award presentation was held during the Opening General Session of the 2021 Virtual ACTFL Convention & World Languages Expo on Friday, November 19.

Heather Sweetser,  Arabic instructor from New Mexico has been named the 2022 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year

Heather Sweetser holds an MA in Arabic, and earned summa cum laude BAs in Arabic, Islamic Studies, and International Studies, all from The Ohio State University. Sweetser has also served as a Lead Instructor for the UNM STARTALK program since 2015, helping heritage speakers work toward state certification. She received the 2020 Innovation in Language Program Direction Award: Online Teaching from the American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators, and Directors of Language Programs (AAUSC), and was UNM Lecturer of the Year for 2019-2020 In 2020 she was named Teacher of the Year by both the New Mexico Organization of Language Educators (NMOLE), and SWCOLT.

The award for the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year elevates the status of the language teaching profession at the state, regional, and national levels by creating opportunities for recognizing the most accomplished members of the profession. The Teacher of the Year becomes a spokesperson for the language profession to increase the visibility of the importance of learning languages and cultures to the general public.

"Congratulations to Heather Sweetser on being named the 2022 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year," said Howie Berman, ACTFL Executive Director. "I applaud her tireless dedication and innovative approaches to language education throughout her career. I look forward to collaborating with her next year as she assumes the important role of ACTFL Teacher of the Year at a critical point for the profession."

Learn more about the ACTFL Teacher of the Year Program.

The other four finalists for the annual ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year Award representing the other geographic regions of the U.S. were:

About ACTFL:

Providing vision, leadership and support for quality teaching and learning of languages, ACTFL is an individual membership organization of more than 13,000 language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry. Since its founding in 1967, ACTFL has become synonymous with innovation, quality, and reliability in meeting the changing needs of language educators and their learners. It is where the world's educators, businesses, and government agencies go to advance the practice of language learning.

ACTFL's work as a trusted, independent center of excellence empowers educators to prepare learners for success in a 21st century global society; helps government agencies build language capacity in the U.S. and abroad; and connects businesses with the resources and relationships they need to succeed.

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