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ACTFL 2003 CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA, PA


Prof. Antonia Schleicher, Sookyung Park Cho and Samit Singhai represented the National African Language Resource Center at the 37th Annual meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Nov. 21 - 23, 2003 Conference held in Philadelphia, PA. The theme of this year's conference was "Building Our Strength Through Languages: A National Priority." 
Work started immediately after they completed their registration at the Convention Center. Sookyung and Samit completed setting up the NALRC booth on Thursday afternoon.

We had a large turnout of participants who visited our booth between Friday, November 21 and Sunday, November 23. About 500 people visited our booth. One of the major attractions 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. Our new Swahili textbook, Tuseme Kiswahili also attracted many people. All of them gave us positive remarks about what the NALRC has been doing. 
Items displayed at our booth were:

1. Learners' Reference Grammar Series 

  • Asante-Twi Learners' Reference Grammar Books
  • Bamanakan Learners' Reference Grammar Books
  • Pulaar Learners' Reference Grammar Books
  • Swahili Learners' Reference Grammar Books

2. Let's Speak Series 

  • Tuseme Kiswahili (Let's Speak Swahili)
  • Je Ka So Yoruba Textbooks (Let's Speak Yoruba)
  • Je Ka So Yoruba CD-ROMs
  • Je Ka Ka Yoruba Textbooks
  • Je Ka Ka Yoruba CD-ROMs
  • Je Ka Gbo Yoruba CD-ROMs

3. Brochures 

  • Amharic Brochures
  • Arabic Brochures
  • Bamanakan Brochures
  • Chichewa Brochures
  • Hausa Brochures
  • Igbo Brochures
  • Isixhosa Brochures
  • Lingala Brochures
  • Malagasy Brochures
  • Pulaar Brochures
  • Sesotho Brochures
  • Setswana Brochures
  • Shona Brochures
  • Swahili Brochures
  • Twi Brochures
  • Wolof Brochures
  • Yoruba Brochures
  • Zulu Brochures
4. Other Materials 
  • Journal of African Language Learning and Teaching (JALLT)
  • The pedagogy of African Languages - Books
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards
  • ULIMI 2003 Newsletter
  • NALRC Center Brochures
  • Pens of different colors

On Saturday November 22, 2003, all the Language Resource Centers (LRCs) coordinators had a meeting in the NFLRC booth. The issues were:

1.Cost of flyers, post-its, and LRC banners: $2015.00 will be divided by 10 centers. 
2.Joint advertisement for 2004 ACTFL 
3.Joint sesstion for 2004 ACTFL: The due date is Dec. 16th. 
4.Next organizer: Jane from CLEAR was appointed as a next organizer. 
5.Booth Rotation: The idea of rotating booths was suggested and will be discussed later through email communication.

2003 ACTFL was a huge success to the NALRC. The conference was also helpful in the sense that NALRC could directly hear about the needs of other foreign language teachers as well as African language teachers. The needs identified at the conference were:

1.Brochures: French-speaking African countries 
2.Language Learning Materials: Dinka, Ebe, Fon, Wolof, and Sango 
3.Dictionary

Antonia Schleicher, Sookyung Park Cho, and Samit Singhai returned to Madison on Sunday November 23, 2003. 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 Chicago, Illinois.