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ACTFL 2004 CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO , IL


Adedoyin Adenuga, Venkatesh Janakiraman , Bezza Ayalew, and Pauline Gichiru represented the National African Language Resource Center at the 38th Annual meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Nov. 19-21, 2004 Conference held in Chicago , IL . The theme of this year's conference was "Celebrating Our International Spirit".

The booth was set up immediately after registration on Thursday, November 18, 2004 . We had a large turnout of participants who visited our booth between Friday, November 19 and Sunday, November 21. About 500 people visited our booth. One of the major attractions to our booth was our colorful African language brochures which had increased to 26. Many people picked up these language brochures to have viable information about where an African language is taught in the United States . With an increase in the "Let's Speak African Language Series" to three textbooks, many were interested and hoping to seeing more African Languages added to the series.

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 Kiswahii
  • Dardasha Egyptian Arabic
  • Tosolola Na Lingala
  • Je Ka So Yoruba Textbooks
  • Je Ka Ka Yoruba Textbooks

3. Brochures

  • Amharic Brochure
  • Arabic Brochure
  • Bamana Brochure
  • Chichewa Brochure
  • Hausa Brochure
  • Igbo Brochure
  • IsiXhosa Brochure
  • Kikuyu Brochure
  • Kinyarwanda Brochure
  • Krio Brochure
  • Lingala Brochure
  • Luganda Brochure
  • Mende Brochure
  • Malagasy Brochure
  • Pulaar Brochure
  • Setswana Brochure
  • Sesotho Brochure
  • Shona Brochure
  • Somali Brochure
  • Swahili Brochure
  • Temne Brochure
  • Tigrinya Brochure
  • Twi Brochure
  • Wolof Brochure
  • Yoruba Brochure
  • Zulu Brochure
4. Multimedia Materials
  • Tuseme Kiswahili (Audio CD companion)
  • African Language Vocabulary Flash Cards
  • Je Ka So Yoruba CD-ROMs
  • Je Ka Ka Yoruba CD-ROMs
  • Je Ka Gbo Yoruba CD-ROMs
5. Other Materials 
  • Journal of African Language Learning and Teaching (JALLT)
  • The pedagogy of African Languages - Books
  • Vocabulary Flash Cards
  • ULIMI 2004 Newsletter
  • NALRC Center Brochures
  • African Language Posters
  • NCOLCTL 2005 Conference Posters
  • Pens of different colors

On Saturday November 20, 2004, all the Language Resource Centers (LRCs) coordinators had a meeting in the NFLRC booth. The issues were:


1. OVERALL - Things seem to have gone fairly smoothly this time around, as the booth coordination has gotten to be something of an exact science through the years. There seemed to be good foot traffic, in spite of the odd set-up of having four Halls.

2. BROCHURES - Since many Centers found it difficult to hand out all of their common LRC brochures, we will not reorder these next year. However, CLEAR can bring leftover copies for any Center that does wish to hand them out next year. We still have several hundred left over. There is no charge for these brochures.

3. POST-ITs & BILLING - The neon-colored LRC Post-it notes were popular this year, and CLEAR will coordinate the ordering of Post-it notes again next year. Most Centers received 200 pads, at a cost of $110 per Center. CLEAR will be invoicing you for these in the next couple of weeks.

4. BOOTH DECOR - The U-shaped booths worked well again this year, and will be the pattern for next year as well. The carpet this year was an attempt to unify the LRCs booths through matching carpet, even though the Hall was already carpeted. The yellow LRC banners were collected by Greg Wilson, and will be distributed by him next year.

5. BOOTH ORDER - The rotation of booths gives every Center a chance to be at the front of the line every few years. This seems to be the most equitable way of arranging the booths. Therefore, for next year, every Center will move "back" one booth, and the two Centers in the back (CASLS and CALPER this year) will have their turn in the front booths next year. If any new Centers join us, they will be placed into the middle of the lineup.

6. LRC JOINT SESSIONS FOR 2005 - The deadline for sessions (exhibitor and otherwise) is Friday, December 17. Submission forms can be accessed through this link: http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3295 If any Center has a topic they would like to propose for a joint LRC session, please reply to this message (sending to "all"), describe your idea, and we can open a discussion about it.

7. ACTFL 2005 LRC COORDINATOR - Thus ends my term as ACTFL LRC Coordinator! Many thanks to all of you for your patience and understanding as I learned the process this year, and especially to Jim Yoshioka, last year's coordinator, for walking me though the steps. Greg Wilson from the NEALRC at Ohio State has graciously accepted the role of coordinator for next year, and will be in touch with you in the Spring about ACTFL 2005 in Baltimore!

On Saturday November 20, 2004, in the evening, The NALRC and National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) had a joint presentation, on "Material Development and Evaluation for Less Commonly Taught Languages". The presentation brought out the need for effective language materials for the LCTLs. The presenter was Dr. Antonia Schleicher. A case study of such materials was presented in evaluating such effective materials developed by the NALRC. Over forty participants were present.

2004 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.

Adedoyin Adenuga, Venkatesh Janakiraman , Bezza Ayalew, and Pauline Gichiru returned to Madison on Sunday November 21, 2004 . 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 Baltimore , MD.