From the President

January 2008

Source: CLTA Newsletter 32.1. January 2008, pp. 5-6. December 2007

Dear CLTA Members,

The 45 year-old CLTA is growing strong! The long list of achievements in the past year, as described in the report by the 06-07 President, Jennifer Liu, would not have been possible without the tremendous effort from the CLTA board, Executive director, Journal editor, Newsletter editor, Webmaster and the impressive leadership of the president. Please join me in thanking this great team.

In addition to looking back and celebrating a wonderful year, we also need to plan ahead and capitalize on the current
momentum, ensuring that the CLTA truly “represents Chinese language teachers in all educational settings… supports
establishing and sustaining quality Chinese programs, K-16 articulation, teacher education and professional development, and research relating to all aspects of teaching and learning about Chinese languages and cultures… [and]
is committed to providing leadership, scholarship, and service to its members and to all sectors of society.” (CLTA
mission statement).

We have many lofty goals and need the support and sacrifice from everyone. In the coming year, we will strive to

  1. Enhance collaboration with other national language organizations. In addition to co-sponsoring the CLTA-CLASS forum at the annual conference, we will actively seek collaboration opportunities with ACTFL, CLASS, heritage school organizations, other associations, institutions, agencies regarding articulation, assessment, standard, professional development and rigorous theoretical and empirical research in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. The effort will be headed by the Steering Committee (chaired by the President) and supported by the board and our very enthusiastic members.
  2. Establish strong links with regional CLTAs. For the last several years, we have witnessed the blossoming of regional organizations. It is important that experiences and resources are shared and that efforts are not duplicated. The CLTA will be the facilitating and unifying force that connects all CLTAs in a cohesive and strong network. Claudia Ross, our Regional Chapter Committee Chair, and Cathy Wei, our Regional Chapter Liaison, will be working tirelessly towards this goal.
  3. Encourage and strengthen research on Chinese language teaching and related studies; provide stronger support and better opportunities for professional development. This requires funding for research and workshops to share knowledge, experiences and results. There have been more awards, thanks to the hard work and continuing commitments from the Awards Committee (headed by Chengzhi Chu) and Jiede Committee (headed by Songnren Cui this past year and Xiaohong Wen in the new year). Jerry Packard expanded the funding resources last year and we have strong confidence that the new chair of the Fundraising Committee, Shengli Feng, will bring the achievement to an even higher level. The CLTA monograph #4 is in the very competent hands of Mike Everson and its successful completion will come soon.
  4. Strengthen the presence of the CLTA and make the CLTA more relevant to all its members. We need to continue to grow and brand CLTA so that our organization can be an effective galvanizing force uniting Chinese language professionals and all those interested in this profession. Members of the CLTA should be able to benefit from the organization uniquely and significantly. The board is already considering measures to increase membership privileges and promote greater communication among members. Theresa Chao, chair of the embership-drive Committee, will be working creatively to expand our organization. We look forward to reporting great results next year.

We will continue to strengthen and expand the great tradition of the CLTA so that it can serve all its members more efficiently and provide resources and leadership to the field of Chinese language teaching. We can meet our goals with important contributions from each of you. I look forward to hearing from you and receiving your support!

Y-H Audrey Li
President, CLTA
EALC, Linguistics
University of Southern California