ACTFL 2002 CONFERENCE IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
Prof. Antonia Schleicher, Olusola Adesope and Anand Prithivathi represented the National African Language Resource Center at the 36th Annual meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Nov. 21-24, 2002 Conference held in Utah. The theme of this year's conference is "Beyond Our Customary Borders".
Work started immediately after they completed their registration at the Convention Center. They completed setting up the NALRC booth late Thursday evening.
We had a large turnout of participants who visited our booth between Friday, November 22 and Sunday, November 24. Statistics show that about 750 people visited our booth. One center of attraction to our booth was our colorful African language brochures. Many people picked up these language brochures to have viable information about where an African language is taught in the United States. It was thrilling to hear positive remarks from some of the visitors who stopped by the booth. For most of the visitors, the Center is the best thing to have happened to the field of African languages in a long time.
Items displayed at our booth were:
1. Swahili Learners' Reference Grammar Books
2. Pulaar Learners' Reference Grammar Books
3. Journal of African Language Learning and Teaching (JALLT)
4. The pedagogy of African Languages - Books
5. Je Ka So Yoruba Textbooks
6. Je Ka So Yoruba CD-ROMs
7. Je Ka Ka Yoruba Textbooks
8. Je Ka Ka Yoruba CD-ROMs
9. ULIMI 2002 Newsletter
10. Swahili Brochures
11. Yoruba Brochures
12. Zulu Brochures
13. Pulaar Brochures
14. Wolof Brochures
15. Hausa Brochures
16. Arabic Brochures
17. Twi Brochures
18. Igbo Brochures
19. NALRC T-Shirts
20. Pens of different colors
21. Pencils of different colors
On Friday November 22, 2002, all the Language Resource Centers (LRCs) had a meeting with the Program Officers and Representatives of the Department of Education. The Directors of all the LRCs gave progress reports. Prof. Schleicher reported that the National African Language Resource Center (NALRC) has been carrying out different projects under 6 headings, which are listed below:
1. National African Language Program Coordination
2. African Language Materials Development and Dissemination
3. Professional Development for African Language Educators
4. Research in African Language Pedagogy
5. African Language Program Development and Evaluation
6. Mini-grant awards for African Language Materials
She briefly discussed how the Center has been operating under these headings. The meeting ended around 7:30p.m. Another issue discussed at the meeting is the effect of shifting this annual meeting of LRC/DOE representatives to another conference where the presence of Less Commonly Taught Languages will be felt more. It was agreed that the Directors should look further into this and come up with a plan that will accommodate all the Directors to attend the meeting.
The conference was a huge success. They returned to Madison on Sunday November 24, 2002. With the outcome of this conference, the NALRC will have more defined roles to play in the teaching and learning of African languages in the US.
Next year's ACTFL Conference will be held in Pennsylvania .