From the Immediate Past President

January 2008

Source: CLTA Newsletter 32.1. January 2008, pp. 6-7.

The year 2006-2007 continued to witness a “Chinese fervor” both in the United States and all over the world. At this historical juncture, it has been an honor and privilege to be the President of CLTA, the oldest leading professional organization in the field of Chinese teaching and learning, at levels K-16. I am proud to report that thanks to the amazing dedication of the Board and Officers, we have accomplished many ground-breaking and collaborative projects.

Our first effort was to re-assess the state, challenges, and opportunities of our times and revise our strategic plan. This process required months of hard work tirelessly led by Prof. Hong Gang Jin. The result is a well articulated CLTA mission and vision statement. Second, we initiated a new online voting, online membership renewal and update of information, and a new website ( All of the enhanced functions have helped to increase our operational efficiency and effectiveness. Third, CLTA expanded our research and professional development offerings through a pre-conference workshop (38 teacher trainers attended), a fruitful collaboration with the STARTALK program at NFLC, a post-conference workshop on Learner-Friendly Grammar for Chinese Instruction, and an empirical research workshop. In addition, CLTA was able to allocate dedicated funding and the Board approved an initiative to create biannual regional workshops starting 2008. Fourth, in our attempts to strengthen K-16 articulation and build coalition among the various Chinese teaching organizations, we offered the 3rd CLTA and CLASS joint forum, initiated the CLTA regional chapter meeting, and co-sponsored a luncheon with National Council of Association of Chinese Language Schools (NCACLS). Finally, recognition should be given to this years fund-raising campaign. As we mature we have decided to establish a new standing committee to support fund-raising. If it is numbers you are interested, it is exciting to note that for the first time in our 45 year history, our membership exceeded 500 and our annual conference included four concurrent sessions, totaling 46 panels and 171 presenters.

None of the achievements occurred overnight or could be realized by a single person; they are the result of months or years of planning, discussion, preparation, implementation, and incredible momentum. So I’m extremely grateful to all my predecessors, particularly the Immediate Past President Mien-hwa Chiang. I’m also indebted to the Program Chair Claudia Ross, Conference Chair, Madeline Spring, Nominating Chair and Vice President Audrey Li, Award Chair Chengzhi Chu, Jiede Chair Songren Cui, Finance Chair Hsin-hsin Liang, Fundraising Chair Jerry Packard, JNCL Representative Shuhan Wang, and all the Board members. Needless to say, my deep gratitude goes to our dedicated officers: Executive Director Cyndy Ning, Journal Editor Neil Kubler, Newsletter Editor Tianwei Xie, and Web-master Marjorie Chan. Their hard work and active contribution have helped the Board make great strides in many areas.

It is fair to say that together we are paving new ground for Chinese language education here in America. I would like to conclude by thanking all of you, our members, for your trust and support during the year. Through our effort to expand our ability to serve members, build and strengthen the field, define standards for teaching and learning, promote research in language acquisition, linguistic analysis, instructional design, technological advancement, teacher development, and assessment, we are elevating the Chinese teaching profession.

Best wishes to all for a productive and fulfilling year.


Jennifer Li-chia Liu
Associate Professor
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Indiana University, Bloomington