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ACTFL 2011 Conference Report

Antonia Schleicher and Akin Ogundeji represented the National African Language Resource Center (NALRC) at the 2011 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention and World Languages Expo (Denver 2011), which was held at Colorado Convention Center from November 18 – 20. The theme of this year’s convention was Empowering Language Educators Through Collaboration. Schleicher attended the ACTFL Board of Directors meeting on Monday November 14 and the ACTFL Delegate Assembly meeting on Friday November 18. She together with Alwiya Omar of Indiana University , Gautami Shah and Meng Yeh, both from Rice University, presented a paper titled “Reinforcing the 5 Cs through Storytelling: Collaborative Language Teaching and Learning” on November 18.

The NALRC didn’t have a separate booth this year as it had to abide with the plan of a joint booth with other Language Resource Centers. This is a result of a 50% cut in funding which affected the body as a whole. The effect was that 15 LRCs shared two booths and a few tables, which barely held a handful of materials. The NALRC was only able to display the latest edition of its bulletin - Ulimi and a couple of our colorful brochures for African languages. None of the Center’s new textbooks was exhibited.

A good number of conference attendees and visitors, who were mostly foreign language teachers and scholars alike, visited the joint LRC booths daily throughout the conference period. NALRC staff - Akin Ogundeji and staff of other LRCs made it a point of duty to explain the objectives, achievements and future projects of the NALRC and that of other Language Resource Centers to all the visitors. Most of the visitors took some of the exhibited materials home as souvenirs or teaching aids. The NALRC bulletin and brochures were very useful here. 
This year’s conference was a success in spite of the budget crunch and the NALRC is looking forward to the next one, coming up in November 2012 in Denver, Colorado.