From the President
December 15, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

It’s truly an honor and a pleasure to serve as the President of the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA). Having just celebrated 50 years of CLTA’s achievements, I believe that 2013 marks the beginning of an exciting new era in the history of teaching Chinese language and culture in the United States.

Under the remarkable leadership of many pioneers and presidents, as well as the Board of directors and officers, CLTA has seen significant growth in membership and most notably the recent expansion of our association. Currently we have more than 800 members and seven regional associations including CLTA of California, CLTA of Southern California, CLTA of Texas, CLTA of Washington State, CLTA of Virginia, CLTA of Georgia, and CLTA of Wisconsin. CLTA is no doubt one of the largest professional associations teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the world.

With numerous members full of talents, expertise, passion, and vision, our association has been playing a prominent role in promoting the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture both nationally and internationally. As a member in the association, you will benefit from access to the most cutting-edge pedagogy, research, and materials, as well as the most up-to-date information on language policy issues, funding opportunities, and important language initiatives.

Our association is also one of the earliest national organizations for foreign languages. Being a member of CLTA, you should all be proud of this unique tradition and legacy. With this, I would like to urge all of you to be CLTA’s advocates.  No matter what level you teach and what position you hold, we ask you to articulate on behalf of CLTA why it is important to promote good quality foreign language education in the United States.

It is indeed true that many of you have already done fascinating work in your area. Please feel free to share with us by emailing your success stories or anecdotes to me or a Board member. We want your stories to be heard by other members of CLTA.

In his 2010 president letter, Dr. Chuanren Ke set three goals for our association. I invite you to continue to reflect upon them as we strive to strengthen our association and make it better each day:

  1. Continue to play a leadership role in the field in generating knowledge in the disciplines of Chinese linguistics, Chinese language acquisition, and Chinese pedagogy.  Expand our research focus by including K-12 Chinese learning and teaching into our research initiatives.
  2. Continue to attract a larger and more diverse group of students to the study of Chinese language.  We need to better understand who our learners are and to develop curriculum models and to find ways to direct and entice an increasing number of Americans from a variety of social and discipline backgrounds to the serious study of Chinese language and culture.
  3. Continue to collaborate with other professionals organizations such as CLASS, the National Council of Associations of Chinese Language Schools, and the Chinese School Association in the United States. We should also collaborate with organizations in government and the private sector, for resources sharing, articulation, and field advocacy.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you again for your support of CLTA.  Best wishes for a happy holiday and a productive new year in 2013!

Der-lin Chao趙德麟
CLTA President, 2013
Professor of Chinese
Hunter College, City University of New York