Message from the Immediate Past President
December 7, 2014

Dear CLTA Members and Friends,

As we are approaching the end of 2014, I am sending my greetings to you all and wish to express my sincere gratitude for your contributions to the association in the past year! I would also like to take this opportunity to report to you on the major accomplishments we achieved in 2014 .

In 2014, CLTA held its very first International Symposium on Chinese Language Teaching and Learning. Thanks to Professor Yea-Fen Chen and her Indiana University – Bloomington team, with support from CLTA colleagues, the symposium, attended by close to three hundred participants from all over the world, was a resounding success. This symposium series is planned to take place every other year for the time being with the goals of complementing the annual ACTFL convention and serving our members in the global CSL communities. It is safe to say that these goals have largely been achieved. I was very pleased to see a great number of young colleagues, regional teachers as well as overseas scholars attended the conference and made the program amazingly educational and global. Equally important are interactions and dialogues with other national organizations both in and outside the CSL communities that were afforded by this gathering. I am also happy to note that the second CLTA International symposium, being organized by Professors Nan Jiang and Minglang Zhou, will take place at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016. So stay tuned for more information to come in the coming months.

2014 is also an important year for our publication efforts. First, we have reached a landmark agreement with the John Benjamins Publishing Company, a world class publisher in language studies, for publishing the Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association. Second, major changes to the journal and its services are taking place, including the updated journal titles in Chinese and English that will be used to reflect recent developments in the field and the availability of past issues in an electronic format. Lastly, a brand new publication focusing on K-12 Chinese language education is well under way, which will serve the thriving communities of pre-college Chinese teaching and learning. Raising our research profile is one of the most important goals of our association; these efforts will ensure that important research work reaches out to wider CSL communities and that scholarly research results are put to practical use in the field.

I am also pleased to note that in 2014 five new regional associations joined or reconnected with CLTA-USA, making the total number of regional affiliates to thirteen. These include the associations from Colorado, the National Capital Region, Indiana, Iowa, and Oklahoma. In addition, exciting collaborative efforts between CLTA-USA and non-CLTA secondary school Chinese associations on documenting best teaching practices are under way.

Our membership drive and fund-raising efforts have always been stellar, and 2014 is no exception. Members and friends of CLTA are the backbone of our association. I wish to thank all of our stakeholders for your support of, and passion for, the cause of Chinese language and cultural education.

Reflecting on this year’s accomplishments, I must thank the CLTA Board of Directors and officers for their selfless work for our association. As our field and the association grow by leaps and bounds each year, these colleagues spend an unbelievable amount of time working on such issues as organizing conferences and workshops, training teachers and students, reviewing papers, raising funds, soliciting and reviewing awards applications, developing policies and regulations, interacting with sponsors and business partners, maintaining web and media communication channels, organizing ballots, and maintaining liaison with government and organizational entities, just to name a few. While it was a great honor and privilege for me to serve as the president in 2014, it was their sacrifice and tireless work that made our service to members as efficient and effective as it was.

In this regard, I would especially like to express my appreciation to our past president Der-lin Chao and outgoing board members Jane Kuo, Miao-fen Tseng, and Phyllis Zhang for their leadership and significant service to CLTA. My deepest gratitude goes to Yea-Fen Chen, our outgoing Executive Director who has served and guided our organization over the past four years and in other capacities prior to that. No doubt that our organization will need quite an adjustment period after Yea-fen. At the same time, I am thrilled that our new leadership team consists of renown scholars, capable administrators, and seasoned CLTA officers: Chengzhi Chu (President), Helen Shen (Vice President), John J. Yin (Executive Director), as well as the continuing and new board members and officers who are extraordinarily dedicated and passionate about serving our organization. I very much look forward to seeing the new energy and fresh air that they surely will bring to our organization in the coming year!

My very best wishes to you all for a productive 2015!

Hongyin Tao

Professor, University of California, Los Angeles