From the President

September 2006

Source: CLTA Newsletter 30.2. September 2006, p. 4. September 2006

Dear CLTA Members:Fall 2006 is a season of harvest as many new Chinese programs and AP Chinese courses are being implemented. Those CFL educators who have spoken directly with policy makers addressing the value of CFL teaching have done substantive and important work for our field. To those seasoned teachers who have traveled all over the US to conduct workshops and disseminate AP information, thank you for getting the teachers ready for this new academic year. And to young teachers who begin either high school or collegiate teaching this fall, we congratulate you on your new positions.

I would first like to share with you a couple of things the board has worked on during the past few months. The Program Committee and Conference Chair have prepared for you 76 presentations, four workshops, and the second K-16 forum at our annual meeting. The workshops will be offered by Songren Cui (CFL empirical research), Michael Everson (Writing Research Proposal), Hong Gang Jin (Form-based and Task=based Teaching) and Hsin-hsin Liang (Lesson Plan Step by Step). If you are interested in these workshops, you may contact the respective presenters for details. I hope you all have registered for the conference and booked your hotel reservations. All paper presenters must pay dues for both CLTA membership and ACTFL conference registration.

Our web team is currently working on making CLTA membership renewal, payment, and databases available online. We hope these services will be a convenient way to save you both time and postage. If you have sons and daughters who are studying Chinese in local Chinese heritage schools, I encourage you to share CLTA newsletters and journals with their heritage school teachers and encourage them to join CLTA. The board has approved a special membership rate ($35 per year) for heritage school teachers to join us. Some of you might doubt that this will bring extra revenue to our organization and perhaps worry that this might even make our organization less professional. This decision, however, is meant to bring teachers in three CFL sectors together heritage schools, middle and high schools, and colleges and universities. Continuously marginalizing and undervaluing heritage Chinese instruction will disrupt the continuity of K-16 articulation and CFL research.

If you have other any suggestions for CLTA’s management and services, please do not hesitate to contact the officers or board members. Your votes have already allowed these motivated and professional members to serve our field. We are all here to serve our community with a certain sense of urgency, as it becomes increasingly important for CLTA to successfully diagnose its weaknesses while working hard to perfect the profession.

In closing, allow me to be a little old fashioned. For those who hope to squeeze in as much material as possible in one semester, or eagerly desire their students to master the Chinese sound system in one week, we must remember that steady, gradual growth is more lasting.

I hope you will continue to enjoy your teaching and wish all of you a successful new semester!

Sincerely yours,
Mienhwa Chiang