Superintendent’s Memo #134-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 23, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Modified Oral Proficiency Interview (MOPI) Institute for World Language Teachers, September 24 – 26, 2014

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the “Modified Oral Proficiency Interview (MOPI) Institute,” to be held September 24 – 26, 2014, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a pre-conference Institute in conjunction with the annual Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) conference. The goal of this Institute is to provide world language teachers with the training needed to assess students’ oral language proficiency on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) rating scale.

The Institute is open to 50 world language teachers in teams of two participants from any one school division. Divisions may nominate one or two teams. The team members do not need to be in the same language group.  Participants may include any K-12 modern world language teacher or world language department chair. Participants will be expected to incorporate the Oral Proficiency Interview assessment techniques in the world language classroom and to share the information with other world language teachers in the division.

The Institute will begin at 8 a.m. on September 24, 2014.  Attachment A contains an agenda of the event. Materials, hotel accommodations, a continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided. Participants are required to be present for all event and meal functions.

MOPI Registration - The cost for the MOPI Institute will be paid by VDOE.  Registration is limited to 50 teachers and the deadline to apply is June 20, 2014.  Divisions may submit nominations for the Institute by e-mailing the application form, Attachment B, to Dr. Lisa Harris, specialist for foreign languages, at The selection process will address regional representation and priority will be given to registering teachers who teach in high poverty areas. Please note that successful submission of the registration form does not guarantee acceptance into the Institute. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status via e-mail on June 23, 2014.

FLAVA Conference - Participants must also register for the FLAVA conference to qualify for participation in the MOPI Institute. FLAVA conference registration information is located on the Web at: School divisions are encouraged to cover this expense as this cost is not assumed by VDOE.

Lodging - VDOE will fund one double-occupancy hotel room for three nights for each participating team from school divisions 25 miles or more from the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia. VDOE will make all lodging reservations and cancellations for those participants.  Participants who wish to add on an extra night for the FLAVA conference must contact the hotel individually. School divisions are encouraged to cover the expense for the fourth night as these costs are not assumed by VDOE.

Substitute Teachers - School divisions may request reimbursement for substitute teacher expenses for a maximum of three days per attending teacher, by mailing Attachment C, Request for Reimbursement of Substitute Teacher Expenses, to Robyn Smyth, COTA, 110 Shenandoah Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016. All reimbursement request forms must be submitted no later than October 30, 2014.

Mileage - School divisions are encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants for the Institute, as this cost is not assumed by the VDOE.

Directions - Hotel directions for the Doubletree by Hilton in Williamsburg, Virginia, may be found at:

For program or registration questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Harris, specialist for foreign languages, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3666.



  1. Institute Agenda (PDF)
  2. Institute Registration Form (Word)
  3. Request for Reimbursement of Substitute Teacher Expenses (Word)