Reflecting as my Presidency winds down
Since i care so passionately about IALLT, it is hard not to think about what I've done (or not done) as an IALLT member to help our organization. I recently had a long talk with Stéphane Charritos, a UNC (Univ. of North Carolina) graduate school friend, who is now Language Center director at Columbia Univ. in New York City. In our wide ranging and far ranging conversation I asked him, at one point, what he saw as the future of IALLT and its role in the language learning profession. He surprised me by asking me to look at our acronym. He asked, "how is IALLT international?" I think we have good answers to that question. We have renewed our ties with LET (of Japan) this past year. We have renewed our ties with EuroCALL this year. I attended AsiaCALL and set up an affiliate relationship with them. We have added IndiaCALL as a regional group this year, too. We still need to work on Africa and Latin America however. i also want us to be affiliated with GloCALL. Second question follows from the first, "How are we an Association?" We have a good answer to that. We are not a huge group, but a very warm group. We greet each other with hugs (and sometimes kisses). We respect each other and revel in the wide variety of position we hold in the world of language learning technology. We're looking at webinars and other development activities for our group. However, we also do workshops in the U.S. for ACTFL and have a strong relationship with them. We have good relationships with all of our affiliates now. Our regional groups host good (and sometimes big) conferences. Next. How about with "Language Learning?" I think this is the hardest answer of all. Language learning is the focus of what we do. However, at times this focus becomes unfocussed, I think. Finally, "Technology?" Well, technology has been our focus since our 1989 conference. Yet, as Stéphane said, is technology deserving now of this focus? Isn't technology now more of a tool than an "end"?
I guess my own follow-up question to that one is, "isn't every single conference dealing with foreign language learning and with ESL (English as a Second Language) learning including several sessions dealing with how a particular technology/program/web site?
The obvious next question is "how is IALLT different from other groups in what it is about, what it represents, and what it provides"?
I have my own answers to that question but am much more interested in seeing yours. Please comment!
In your comments, if you have suggestions for projects I can undertake as Past President, both big ones as well as very specific ones, I'd be quite grateful. And your help with these is always appreciated! Grin.
Hugs to all, Mike