Jura Awarded California Language Teachers Association Presidential Award For LOTEPublished: April 2, 2012
Jean-Jacques Jura, coordinator of the university’s Language Other Than English instruction (LOTE) and advisor for Teacher Education, recently was awarded the 2012 California Language Teachers Association Presidential Award in recognition of the high-profile success of the LOTE program at CSULB.
The award notification stated: “The CLTA has long admired the work you have been doing to ensure that California’s supply of qualified teachers will meet demand.” CSULB was the sole institution in California cited in the National Council on Teacher Preparation’s report “Student Teaching in the United States” to receive a commendation.
The CLTA commended Jura for providing “exemplary leadership as we strive to improve the quality of teacher education programs in our state to ensure both the professional success of new teachers but the academic excellence of the students they will teach.”
Jura was surprised and pleased to receive the award. “It’s great to be recognized especially when you’re just trying to do what you’re supposed to do,” said Jura, who joined the Romance/German/Russian Languages and Literature Department (RGRLL) in 2005. “What is exceptional about the success of the LOTE program is the teamwork involved. All along the line there are experts who believe in teacher preparation. I’m glad to get this attention but what goes on in LOTE is collaboration. These classes represent a campus-wide network. It is a complex system of meeting what the state requires for that preparation.”
Jura is a longtime CTLA member and he thanked the association for its support. “I first became aware of the CTLA when I taught high school,” he recalled. “The majority of the membership teaches high school and many are great supporters of LOTE. Our work helps to provide the teachers for their programs.”
The LOTE teaching credential enables students to teach elementary, middle and high school foreign language classes in California public schools. The credential has two major parts—subject matter (the language other than English of your choice) and pedagogy (teacher preparation courses.) At CSULB, there are five commission-approved subject-matter programs in Languages Other Than English: French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. Candidates who wish to become credentialed in a language other than these five may demonstrate subject matter competence via the CSET exams in Arabic, Japanese and Mandarin to qualify.
“I want to thank my department and its leadership for their support,” Jura said. “Every chair I have ever worked for has offered me their time and support.”
Jura received his Ph.D. in French literature from UCI in 1988, and has since taught and developed curriculum at various levels—university, community college, high school and middle school. Jura was a consultant for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) from 1995-97 at the Jackie Robinson Academy (K-8), to develop, implement, help pilot, and assess their middle-school French immersion curriculum. From 1997-2004, Jura taught English and French in the LBUSD—regular English classes (7th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades), as well as honors English, AP English literature and composition, and 10th grade Pacesetter English. Jura has published articles at French universities and a film history book titled Balboa Films on the silent movie studios of Long Beach.
“I’m a French professor and currently the French program director in RGRLL,” he explained. “But my goal with Languages Other Than English is to help prepare CSULB teachers to work in the 21st century’s multilingual society. What is their competency in the subject matter? I work to make sure their degree requirements meet those for teacher preparation. Are the paperwork and course changes all in alignment? That’s my decision.”
Jura credits some of his success by keeping in touch. “My job entails a lot of networking,” he said. “That translates to keeping touch with everything from school districts to area workshops. I think it is that level of involvement that proves leadership. I meet with school leaders and district officials. This is the kind of involvement that symbolizes our program’s success. This recognition is as much a university accomplishment as it is an institutional accomplishment.”