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The NCLRC Celebrates Refunding

The National Capital Language Resource Center is pleased to announce that it has been refunded by the U.S. Department of Education as a Title VI Language Resource Center for an additional four years, from 2010 to 2014. There are currently 15 LRC’s around the country whose mission is to improve language teaching and learning in the U.S. We are all delighted to be able to continue serving foreign language educators around the country.

The NCLRC will continue as a consortium of three institutions with a Co-director representing each: Dr. Anna Uhl Chamot (The George Washington University), Dr. James E. Alatis (Georgetown University), and Dr. Margaret E. Malone (Center for Applied Linguistics). Anup Mahajan will continue as Executive Director and Leah Mason as Outreach Coordinator. Dr. Catharine W. Keatley continues as GWU Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Dorry Kenyon as CAL Senior Advisor, and Dr. Christine Meloni as GWU Culture Club Editor. Other continuing staff include Francesca Di Silvio as CAL Project Coordinator and Candice Michalowicz as GWU Senior Research Assistant. We are very pleased that our talented contributors will continue to work with us. These include: GWU’s Dr. Richard Robin and Natalia Bessergeneva (Russian Webcasts), CAL’s Dora Johnson (LCTL Advisor), Sheila Cockey (Teacher Materials Developer), GWU’s Dr. Phyllis Zhang and Miaochun Wei (Chinese Webcasts), and GWU’s Rana Kanaan Casteel (Arabic Webcasts). We are also delighted to announce that Dr. Llorena Llosa of New York University will join us as our External Evaluator.

We have listened to you, our readers, and to our National Advisory Board to determine new initiatives and continuing activities. Your thoughtful advice has helped us decide on the following activities for the next four years:

1. Materials Development and Dissemination to Strengthen Teacher Expertise. Activities will build on the NCLRC’s effective dissemination network by continuing the monthly e-newsletter and increasing its current circulation of 30,000 educators; maintaining and updating the Essentials, a highly popular web-based resource on methodology; developing articles on research and implications; expanding the NCLRC website resources and materials; and updating on-line guides on learning strategies.

2. Strengthening Teacher Expertise in the Uses of Assessment. The NCLRC will provide professional development to in-service teachers on the basics of assessment with an emphasis on LCTLs; conduct and disseminate an online course on oral proficiency assessment; provide training to teachers on how to use and rate the SOPI (Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview); support the East Coast Organization of Language Testers; revise and update CAL’s 1996 Oral Performance and Proficiency Task Handbook; and update the Foreign Language Assessment Directory biannually.

3. Focus on Less Commonly Taught Languages. The NCLRC will continue to carry out the Arabic K-12 schools survey and maintain the Arabic K-12 Teachers’ Network website and newsletter; develop a network with a website and newsletter for teachers of K-12 and heritage South Asian language programs; continue producing webcasts in Russian, Arabic, and Chinese; maintain and update the Arabic Essentials and develop adaptations of the Essentials for teachers of Chinese and South Asian Languages. These activities directly address critical needs in 18 of the priority languages identified by the U.S. Department of Education.

4. Teacher and Teacher Educator Professional Development. We will host the 2013 Eighth International Language Teacher Educators Conference; continue to offer the highly successful annual Summer Institutes; present at major regional, national, and international conferences; offer special summer institutes for teachers of Chinese; and develop language-specific credit-bearing courses on Arabic and Chinese language teaching methodology for pre-service and in-service Arabic and Chinese teachers.

As we complete our twentieth year of operation (1990-2010), we would like to express our deep appreciation to all the language educators who have contributed to the development of the NCLRC as project directors, senior researchers, research associates, research assistants, writers, reviewers, webmasters, translators, newsletter and Culture Club contributors, summer institute presenters and participants, and student interns. Each has contributed in unique ways to making the NCLRC what it is today. Thank you!

®2009 National Capital Language Resource Center

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