2010 NCOLCTL / ALTA Conference

April 22-25, 2010


The National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages held their 13th Annual Conference at the Sheraton Madison Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin from April 22nd-25th, 2010. The theme was "Moving LCTLs to a New Professional Level." The conference was organized by the NCOLCTL Secretariat, located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The conference itself was held in conjunction with the 14th annual conference of the African Language Teachers Association. The conference was well attended by language teachers and professionals from Africa, Europe, Asia and most parts of South and North America

On Thursday, April 22nd, 2010, a Pre-Conference workshop was hosted by Dr. Jennifer Eddy.  Eddy is the Assistant Professor of World Language Education at Queens College of the City University of New York and the co-director of the Department of Secondary Education and Youth Services.  Her workshop was entitled “Unpacking the Standards with Backward Design: Performance, Assessment, and Transfer.”  The day concluded with welcome remarks from Catherine Ingold, the incoming President of NCOLCTL, and a reception.

Friday, April 23rd, 2010 began with welcome remarks from Hong Gang Jin, Audrey Mbeje, Chhany Sak-Humphry, Gautami Shah, and Dean Gilles Bosquet.  This was followed by the first Plenary session, chaired by Hong Gang Jin of Hamilton College.  Speaking at this session were Dean Gilles Bosquet of UW-Madison, Sam Eisen of the U.S. Dept. of Education, and Paul Sandrock of the Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction.  Their topic was “Building Language Capacity: Innovation and Collaboration.”  Immediately following this was the second Plenary session, chaired by Catherine Ingold.  Speaking were Dr. Richard Brecht of the Center for the Study of Language and J. Davis Edwards of the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies.  The theme for this session was “Critical Opalescence: Moving LCTLs to New Professional Levels through Science and Technology.”

There were three other Plenary Sessions held during the conference.  The third was chaired by Gautami Shah of Rice University and featured Dr. Dan Davidson of the American Council on International Education speaking on “Initial Proficiency Levels, Duration of Immersion, and Learning Outcomes: Language Assessment Results from the Russian, Arabic, and Persian Overseas Flagship Programs.”  The fourth session was chaired by Erlin Barnard of UW-Madison, and featured Dianna Murphy, Antonia Schleicher, and Erlin Barnard, all of UW-Madison, speaking on the topic “Online Teaching Method Course for LCTL Instructors.”  The fifth and final session was chaired by Antonia Schleicher and featured Erika Glison of ACTFL speaking on the topic “Standards as a Catalyst for Moving the Profession to a New Level.”

Seven different parallel sessions were held during the conference, featuring presentations that ranged from individual papers, collective reports, and posters, all falling within the theme of the conference.  NCOLCTL member organizations such as the African Language Teachers Association (ALTA), the South Asia Language Teachers Association (SALTA), and COTIM held meetings during the conference.

On Saturday, April 25, a banquet was held in honor of Antonia Schleicher, winner of this year's A. Ronald Walton Award, which recognizes distinguished service in the field of LCTLs.  In her acceptance speech, Dr. Schleicher discussed the progress that NCOLCTL had made and challenged members to take their language to the next level.  For the second year in a row, Professor Hong Gang Jin led members in congratulating Dr. Schleicher in their native languages.

The staff of the NCOLCTL Secretariat is grateful to the many people who contributed so much of their time and energy into making this year's conference a huge success notwithstanding.  We look forward to seeing everyone again next year for the 14th NCOLCTL annual conference in 2011.