In 1998, a group of high school, community college, and university foreign language teachers organized the Southern Oregon Foreign Language Articulation project (SOFLA). SOFLA became one of only eight projects accepted nationally to participate in the Modern Language Association High School to College articulation project during 1998-2000. Under the direction of Daniel Morris, Professor of French and Chair of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Southern Oregon University, SOFLA has led a collaborative effort between K-12, community college, and university language teachers to enhance the quality of language instruction at all levels (K-16) by focusing on standards and proficiency, and by coordinating the curriculum of language programs at various levels of instruction (K-16). The original goals of SOFLA included the following: provide training in standards and assessment to all second language teachers in the Southern Oregon region; establish coordinated standards for local high schools, Rogue Community College, and Southern Oregon University; educate peers, students, language teachers, and administrators at all levels about the implications of standards and proficiency-based requirements; and reform lower-division university offerings to correspond to new proficiency requirements.
For the past six years, the Southern Oregon Foreign Language Articulation project has been a leader in foreign language teacher development in southern Oregon. During that time, SOFLA has sponsored several workshops (an average of three per year), developed assessment tools, conducted assessments of university and high school language programs and provided extensive training to language teachers in southern Oregon.
As many as seventy-five language teachers per year have participated in SOFLA workshops. SOFLA has also received and successfully administered three Eisenhower professional development grants, one No Child Left Behind Grant, and just recently received a second three-year No Child Left Behind grant for $213,286. Total grant awards for the project amount to $418,455. Working cooperatively with Southern Oregon University and local school districts, SOFLA developed the Foreign Language Proficiency program that allows advanced foreign language students to receive university credits based on demonstrated proficiencies.
As a result of the project, university courses have also been revised, focusing on standards and proficiency.