From the Immediate Past President

December 1999

Source: CLTA Newsletter 23.3. December 1999.

1999 has been a momentous year for the Association. The work of the Leadership Seminar team, under our resourceful Executive Director Madeline Chu, has culminated in the publication of the Association’s third monograph, Mapping the Course of the Chinese Language Field, which includes articles by many members of our past and present Board of Directors. Since you can obtain a free copy of it if you renew your membership before February 1, 2000, I urge you to do so right away; you might even take this opportunity to convince a colleague who is not currently a CLTA member that now is the right time to join. ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) estimates that only about 20% of language teachers nationally are members of ANY professional language teaching organization. It would be wonderful to best those statistics in Chinese.

In 1999 CLTA and CLASS held a summit meeting under the auspices of the National Foreign Language Center in Washington, D.C., and developed a set of priorities for the field. These priorities turn out to be rather similar to the ones developed by ACTFL’s “New Visions” project, which were promulgated at the November convention in Dallas. Another year of input and fine-tuning ACTFL’s priorities will we hope lead to an action agenda — the next meeting on the “New Visions” priorities is scheduled for June, 2000.

With China’s imminent entry into the WTO, Chinese is poised to become a Very Important Language in this country. Keeping in mind further that the US Department of Education’s International Education budget is expected to triple next year, we as Chinese language professionals would do well to become familiar with both Chinese and field-wide priorities, to be in the most favorable position to take advantage of funding opportunities as these become available, to advance the field overall.

In 1999, CLTA designated the Walton Award for lifetime achievement in Chinese language education to Professor Shou-hsin Teng, Director of the Institute of Chinese as a Second Language of National Taiwan Normal University. The koa (Hawaiian hardwood) plaque which was presented to him at the General Meeting in Dallas was, Prof. Teng protests, totally unexpected, but, we assert, totally deserved. Congratulations, Teng Laoshi, and thank you for your outstanding contributions to our profession. We look forward to decades more of the same!

The 1999 Walton Travel Fund award was given to Ms. Yi LIN of the University of Iowa, for her fine paper and presentation titled, “Vocabulary Acquisition in CFL Learning.” We look forward to seeing her work as an article in a future issue of the JCLTA. Congratulations, Ms. Lin, for your achievement; please accept the best wishes of the Association for the remainder of your program at the University of Iowa, and for the launch of your professional career thereafter.

Finally, CLTA handled some housekeeping details in 1999. Please click here to see the guidelines for the CLTA monograph series that were approved by the Board at the November meeting. And please continue sending me information you may have about the history of our Association. I shall serve as our informal archivist until further notice.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. The Association enters 2000 under the excellent leadership of Profs. Chuanren Ke (president), Marjorie Chan (vice president), Baozhang He (program chair), Xiaohong Wen (nominations chair), and the benevolent guidance of our appointed officials.

The best of the season and a bright and fulfilling Year 2000 to all!

Cynthia Ning, Associate Director
University of Hawai’i Center for Chinese Studies
Moore Hall 416
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 956-2692, Fax: 956-2682