NCOLCTL/ALTA Conference

April 7 -April 10, 2011

Dr. J. David Edwards, Recipient of the 2011 A. Ronald Walton award

The 14th Annual Conference of the National Councilof Less Commonly Taught Languages was held at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin, April 7-10, 2011 under the theme “Building Language Capacity: Collaboration, Innovation, Globalization. ”The conference was organized by the NCOLCTL Secretariat from its offices at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Michelle Guilfoil from the U.S. Department of Education presented a third workshop entitled “Developing Strong Proposals for the Fiscal Year2012 Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA)Program.” This workshop was chaired by NCOLCTL Immediate Past President Dr. Hong Gang Jin, and was geared towards potential applicants interested in applying to the Fiscal Year 2012 Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program grant competition. Dr.Kirk Belnap from the National Middle East Language Resource Center, along with Dr. Mahmoud Al-Batal from the University of Texas, Austin, and Dr. Munther Youness from Cornell University presented the fourth workshop entitled “Integrating Colloquial in the Arabic Curriculum: An Examination of Programmatic Input and Learners’ Output.” This workshop was chaired by NCOLCTL Executive Board Member Dr. Muhammad Eissa. In their workshop, the presenters focused on implementing an “integrated approach” to teaching Arabic and illustrated both the early stages and results for advanced-level students who began their study of Arabic using such an approach. That same evening, NCOLCTL Vice-President Alwiya S. Omar greeted conference attendees at the Conference Welcome Reception.


The next morning, April 8, 2011, general WelcomeRemarks were delivered by University of Wisconsin Madison’s Dean Gilles Bousquet and NCOLCTL President Dr. Catherine Ingold. Immediately following, Dr. Richard Brecht, Director of the Center forAdvanced Study of Language, delivered the keynote address entitled, “There is a Tide in the Affairs of Man…The Current Vision Toward the Future Build of Capacity in Critical Languages.”

 

Three other plenary sessions were held during the course of the conference. Two were led by LCTL heavy weights, in the form of NCOLCTL President Dr.Catherine Ingold, of the National Foreign LanguageCenter, and Dr. Steven Ross from the University of Maryland. The third was an African Language Teachers Association (ALTA) plenary by Dr. Kolawole Owolabifrom the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. In all, 160 papers were presented at this year’s conference ontopics ranging from methodology in LCTLs, assessmentin LCTLs, L2 Research, technology in the LCTL classroom, LCTLs teacher training, and many others. Poster sessions were also presented on Saturday, April 9, 2011. NCOLCTL member organizations such as the African Language Teachers Association (ALTA), the South Asia Language Teachers Association (SALTA),and the Council of Teachers of South East Asian Languages (COTSEAL) held their annual meetings during the conference. This year saw the

Modern Greek Language Teachers Association (MGLTA) hold its meeting at the NCOLCTL Conference for the first time. 


On Saturday, April 9, a banquet was held in honor of Dr. J. David Edwards, winner of the 2011 A. Ronald Walton Award, which recognizes distinguished service in the field of LCTLs. In his acceptance speech, Dr.Edwards traced his long and distinguished career inservice of LCTLs, especially his work in Washington D.C. He also reminisced about his experiences with LCTL trailblazers, such as Ron Walton and Dick Brecht, among others.  


The NCOLCTL conference remains a substantial forum for the sharing of successes and challenges in the field of LCTLs. Many attendees expressed gratitude for the chance to share information about professional  issues in LCTLs, especially matters of standards and assessment, the STARTALK program, and others.The staff of the NCOLCTL Secretariat is grateful tothe many people who contributed so much of their time and energy into making this year’s conferencea success. We would especially like to thank Bongani Mbatha, Said Hannouchi, Kazeem Kehinde Sanuth,Silas Upenyu Majee, Samuel Darkwa, Adeola Agoke, Judith Namayengo, Filipo Lubua, Emmanuella Datu and Forster Asare who donated their time and effort to ensure the conference’s  success. Special thanks also to the staff at the NALRC for their exceptional and committed support. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year for the 15th annualNCOLCTL conference in 2012. 

 

Flash Memories2011 ALTA/NCOLCTL Conference