From The Immediate Past President

December 1998

Source: CLTA Newsletter 22.3. December 1998.
Consistent with the American holiday of Thanksgiving, it’s particularly satisfying to be able to provide you all with a bounty of good news, some of which you may not be aware of. Most of you are probably aware that the Association is now under the exceptionally able leadership of President Cynthia Ning (University of Hawaii) and Vice President Ke Chuanren (University of Iowa). Less well known to you may be our new Program Chair Xie Tianwei (University of California-Davis) and our new Nominations Chair Audrey Li (University of Southern California), as well as our new members of the Board of Directors Neil Kubler (Williams College), Wen Xiaohong (University of Houston), Xie Tianwei (University of California-Davis) and Jane P. Yang (Lawrence University). But I am certain that you will come to know and appreciate them better in the months and years ahead.

Equally unknown to many of you might be the high level of national prominence which two members of CLTA have achieved during this past year. Celine Robertson of Lincoln High School (Lincoln, NE), former president of CLASS as well as a CLTA member, was named the winner of the United States Disney Outstanding Teaching Award in the category of foreign language educators. And Professor Jin Honggang of Hamilton College was named the 1998 Carnegie Foundation Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor. There is no better indication of how we have begun to gain recognition beyond the realm of the LCTLs.

In review of this past year for CLTA, there are in my opinion three very clear highlights:

  • A rapidly developing, superior quality, and VERY highly “hit”-upon CLTA Web Site — to which we owe Board member Marjorie Chan (The Ohio State University) and her Web Team a tremendous debt of gratitude.
  • The first of what will hopefully be a series of multi-topical, temporally frequent and geographically dispersed CLTA teacher training workshops, inspired from within and developed by the participants in the two CLTA Leadership Workshops. To Martha Wang Gallagher (United States Military Academy) and all of this initial year’s participants in the pre-annual meeting workshop “Adapting Textbooks for Local Conditions,” our sincere thanks.
  • A simultaneous paying of tribute to our profession’s founding mothers and fathers, and provision of support for the next generation of Chinese language educators — through YOUR donations, the 1998 recipients of the Walton Award and the Walton Travel Fund, Professor Emeritus John DeFrancis (University of Hawaii) and Ms. Tseng Miao-Fen (University of Illinois).

My sole request to the incoming Board, as well as to all of you, is that ALL Association members may take a greater role in expanding our mutual professional enhancement beyond what we regularly gain through the NEWSLETTER, JOURNAL and communications from CLTA Headquarters. We learn SO much from the work of leaders like Madeline Chu, Teng Shou-hsin, and Ted Yao. But we all have much to offer as well. It is in that spirit that I have proposed to the Board, and at the General Membership meeting in Chicago, as well as to all of you, that we might look upon the ACTFL model of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to communicate, commiserate, and otherwise clarify our common needs, goals, and solutions. I invite you to be in touch with your officers and Board regarding this challenge.

With thanks to all for all your contributions, and all good wishes,

Scott McGinnis

November 29, 1998