Message from the President
(December 15, 2014)

Dear Colleagues,

It is an honor and privilege to begin my term as the elected President of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA (CLTA). Throughout my Chinese teaching career in the US for nearly 20 years, CLTA has been there for my professional development. Serving as President will be a small repayment for what I have received.

In the past year, my predecessor Professor Hongyin Tao led the Association so ably with tremendous accomplishments. The big shoes that Tao laoshi left will not be easy to fill, and for taking the challenge I shall devote all my possible energy and enthusiasm. Luckily, we have a strong team of board of directors and officers, including Professor John Jing-hua Yin as the new Executive Director. I am grateful that I will be able to rely on their capable hands and wise counsel during my mandate.

In 2015, the CLTA Board will maintain a major part of its working structure as of 2014, and the following eight standing committees have been retained and chairs appointed: Awards Committee (Cecilia Chang, chair), Finance Committee (Claire Kotenbeutel, chair), Fundraising Committee (Song Jiang, chair), Jiede & Action Research Awards Committee (Nan Jiang, chair), Nominating Committee (Chaofen Sun, chair), Program/Conference Committee (Yun Xiao, chair), Professional Development Committee (Nyan-Ping Bi, chair), and Regional Associations Committee (Wayne Wenchao He, chair). Meanwhile, four new committees were established to better address our common vision and mission: The Archives Committee (Stephanie Divo, chair) will focus on collecting, selecting, arranging, and filing CLTA’s past records and archives to facilitate works of the board of directors and officers. The Committee of CLTA Chinese National Honor Society (Mindy Zhang, chair) is devoted to recognize outstanding achievements of college students in Chinese learning. The Ad Hoc CLTA Logo Committee (Jianling Liao, chair) targets on bringing CLTA an official logo that will be distinctive and suitable for communication and promoting CLTA in the modern era. The Media and Publicity Committee (Fangyuan Yuan, chair), together with the Newsletter Editor (Prof. Zhou Jing-Schmidt) and the Webmaster (Dr. John Chang), will explore ways to improve the interest, quality, and relevance of CLTA Newsletter and website contents, and to make our communications timely, more comprehensive, and more useful for our members and friends.

Through providing our diverse membership with the variety of valued resources and services, CLTA will continue to foster excellence in scholarship and professional development, and to enhance national and international connectivity of the Chinese language profession.  With CLTA’s special expertise, we will continue to partner with ACTFL and contribute in organizing the 2015 Convention to be held in San Diego. Thanks to Prof. Yea-fen Chen and her wonderful team, CLTA just had its fabulous inaugural symposium that appealed to hundreds of colleagues from US and many other places. While the second CLTA symposium is scheduled for 2016, the planning has been underway and a good portion of the organizing work will be done in 2015. The well-established research journal of CLTA under the leadership of professor Zheng-sheng Zhang will continue to be published by Ohio State University in 2015; And it will get ready to move to John Benjamins in 2016 for gaining increased popularity and an enhanced profile. A new and exciting plan for CLTA in 2015 is to start a new online journal devoted to K-12 Chinese language teaching. Professor Annie P. Zeng is taking this initiative as the inaugural editor of the journal. Additionally, we will strengthen our cooperation with CLASS, CSAUS, and NCACLS, the three national K-12 Chinese teaching organizations to address major concerns of K-12 Chinese teaching. We will also maintain liaisons with other major organizations with common interests and visions, including NCLC (the annual National Chinese Language Conference co-organized by the College Board and Asia Society), JNCL-NCLIS (Joint National Committee for Languages and National Council for Languages and Area Studies), NCLCTLC (National Council for Less Commonly Taught Languages), and Chinese teaching organizations of other countries. In addition to the endeavors at the international and national level, CLTA will maintain the good momentum of supporting our affiliated regional organizations to organize local conferences or workshops, and we will also welcome more regional organizations to join and cooperate with us.

For our members, CLTA is a premier network connecting Chinese teachers to grow professionally. CLTA’s strength lies in developing our professional excellence through our professional connections and joint efforts. You can help strengthen the connections in various ways, such as attending CLTA annual conference, submitting papers for the CLTA journals, reporting your achievements on our newsletter, competing or nominating candidates for CLTA awards, participating in the annual election of new board members, assisting in fundraising to support CLTA events, or approaching us with new ideas. CLTA is in very good shape, and it will be even better in the future. I look forward to the upcoming year to embrace the new challenging and rewarding experiences ahead of us. I thank you for your continued support

Happy holidays and best wishes!

Chengzhi Chu