Conference Presentations: ACTFL 2014

Lessons that Program Administrators Have Learned
Leaders in the field of Chinese language education describe key lessons they have learned while developing and administering Chinese language programs and ways that states, districts, and initiatives can leverage resources to build strong programs and exciting opportunities for students. Following are presentations from the 2014 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Convention and World Languages Expo in San Antonio. They move from more general (the field of language education in the United States), to more specific (the vitality and sustainability of Chinese heritage language schools), to even more specific and instruction-based (uses of digital technologies and selection of instructional materials to promote student engagement and learning).

Teaching Languages to Children: Lessons Learned over Three Decades
Nancy Rhodes, Center for Applied Linguistics, facilitated panel presentations by experts who were interviewed for her recent article in Foreign Language Annals (Rhodes, N. 2014. Elementary school foreign language teaching: Lessons learned over three decades, 1980-2010. Foreign Language Annals, 47, 1, 115-133). Richard Donato, Myriam Met, and Shuhan Wang described important lessons they have observed in their years working in the language education field. Slides

Being “Critical:” What Should Chinese Heritage Language Schools Do?
Shuhan Wang, ELE Consulting International and CELIN at Asia Society, described the history and vitality of heritage Chinese schools in the United States and outlined ways that these schools can remain strong and effective in light of the increased importance of Chinese language education in mainstream schools. Recommendations include collaborating with public, private, and charter schools in ways that benefit all students. Slides

Heritage Language Program Challenges and Sustainability: Challenges and Initiatives
Hseuh-Ming Tommy Lu, Delaware Technical Community College, described the challenges that community-based Chinese language programs face and initiatives to address those challenges. He focused specifically on digital approaches and resources that programs can use to enhance student engagement and learning. Slides

Selecting and Adapting Resources for Your Chinese Programs Shuhan Wang, with Maquita Alexander and Pearl You, Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, described principles for selecting materials for use in instruction of Chinese language learners in elementary school and processes that the staff of Washington Yu Ying School use to select and adapt the materials that they use in Grades PreK-5 in their program. Slides

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