From the President

December 1997

Source: CLTA Newsletter 21.3. December 1997.

In the closing weeks of the Year of the Rat (and 1997), we have already begun a new year for CLTA. The one just completed, with its culmination at the annual meeting in Nashville, has been yet another one of steady growth and new challenges.

We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Immediate Past President T. Richard Chi and our outgoing members of the Board of Directors, as well as to this past year’s Program Chair Ke Chuanren and Nominations Chair Jennifer Liu, for their efforts and excellence. And as always, the dedicated expertise of Executive Director Madeline Chu, JOURNAL editor Teng Shou-hsin, and NEWSLETTER editor Ted Yao has ensured that our organization is continually involved, enhanced and informed in matters involving language pedagogy in general and Chinese pedagogy in particular.

For the year ahead, we welcome four new Board members: Marjorie Chan (Ohio State University), He Baozhang (Harvard University), Claire Kotenbeutel (James Madison Memorial High School, Madison, WI), and Audrey Li (University of Southern California). We also will have the services of three Board members serving as Program Chairs for the 1998 annual meeting: Julian Wheatley, Margaret Wong, and Claire Kotenbeutel. Details about that meeting in Chicago next November will be found elsewhere in this issue of the NEWSLETTER.

While our annual meeting remains a major focus of our activities, it is clear that CLTA is no longer an organization whose motto is “publish and present, or perish.” The year ahead will see the promotion of at least two major initiatives:

1. A CLTA WEB SITE. The Board of Directors has formed a Task Force, composed of Bai Jianhua, Dana Bourgerie, Marjorie Chan, Cynthia Ning, and Ted Yao, to build on existing CLTA web resources at Ohio State University and the National Foreign Language Center and develop a full web site. We will keep you informed of developments throughout the course of the year; feel free to contact any of the above Task Force members with your comments and questions.

2. A TEACHER TRAINING WORKSHOP: Consistent with the recommendations of both the 1996 and 1997 Leadership Seminar participants, and in response to the suggestions of many of our members, we plan to offer a one-day teacher training workshop immediately preceding next year’s annual meeting in Chicago. Again, details will be forthcoming in the months ahead.

Through these new activities, as well as through continuing projects and proposals still in the planning stages, it is hoped that CLTA will help better serve its members — enlightened educators that are serious about their own education as language professionals.

The theme for next year’s ACTFL annual meeting – “Winds of Change” – seems to be a most appropriate one for us as well. It is truly a time of SHUNFENG ZHUANDUO

We must continue to respond to the changing conditions of our students, our institutions, and our world to create the best possible conditions for the learning and teaching of Chinese language, literature and culture. It is through all of our efforts that these winds will be ones that do not hold us back, but move us forward.

With thanks for your efforts, and all good wishes for the year ahead,

Scott McGinnis, 1 December 1997