NASILP 2004 Conference Report IN ARLINGTON, VA
The NALRC Director, Prof. Antonia Schleicher, technology assistant Samit Singhai and project assistant Matt Brown represented the National African Language Resource Center at The 2003 Annual Conference is scheduled for Friday, October 31st and Saturday, November 1st at the Hilton in Crystal City at the Washington DC National Airport.
The NASILP conference annually addresses themes such as: courseware development, funding opportunities, program administration, program design, budgeting, implementation of new language offerings, student orientation, the role of the Tutor/Driller and responsibilities of the Coordinator and Examiner.
The themes of more current interest and which were addressed at this year's conference are as follows: distance learning & examinations, expansion of NASILP web services, NASILP service recognition, program growth opportunities, and utilizing Language Resource Centers. The conference also provides an excellent opportunity to network with NASILP colleagues and presenters. The Association's annual meeting will feature presentations reflecting current research on issues pertinent to academically-based self-accessed programs for LCTLs. The meeting provides access to nationally-recognized scholars in the fields of pedagogy, design, materials development, instructional technologies, program administration, and establishes channels through which the special concerns and expertise of NASILP's institutional members are shared.
Our cadre arrived in Arlington on Thursday evening and the conference started early Friday morning. The NALRC booth was put immediately Friday morning and stayed up all day. It was the only booth at the conference offering materials for purchase and distribution. The booth was also set up on Saturday for the entire day. While there were approximately 50 or so participants, we generated around $65 dollars in revenue. There was great interest in the Tuseme Kiswahili textbook recently published by the NALRC. One center of attraction to our booth was our colorful African language brochures. Many people picked up these language brochures to use as ideas for their own brochures and for information regarding where African languages are taught in the United States. It was thrilling to hear positive remarks from some of the visitors who stopped by the booth.
On Saturday November 1, all of participants the conference converged on Professor Schleicher's presentation of multimedia materials and language pedagogy. She also briefly updated those at the conference how the Center has been operating over the past year. The conference was a huge success. The group of Professor Schleicher, Samit, and Matt returned to Madison on Saturday November 2, 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.
NASILP will follow tradition and continue to hold the conference in Arlington next year.