President’s Letter — April 14, 2017

Dear IALLT Members,
I am writing to invite you to the upcoming IALLT 2017 conference and share some recent IALLT news!

The IALLT 2017 conference at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, June 20 – 23, is fast approaching! Registration is now open. As you know, IALLT’s biennial conferences attract participants from around the world, providing an international perspective on the future of language learning and technology. They provide a vibrant and collegial forum for professionals to share their expertise and create a sense of community. The 2017 conference promises to offer a program that will be professionally invigorating for long-time IALLTers and newcomers alike. From pre-conference workshops to inspiring sessions on innovative uses of hot technologies in all facets of language learning to an informative keynote address by Samantha Earp, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Smith College, there will be a lot happening. So don’t miss this IALLT conference!

We begin with the IALLT Board and Council Meeting on Monday, 19th June, 2017. This meeting is not restricted to board and council members; anyone interested in influencing the organization with their innovative ideas and enthusiasm should plan to attend. Our pre-conference workshops and other activities begin on Tuesday, 20th June while conference sessions begin on Wednesday, 21st June.

In addition to having enriching professional conversations at the conference, participants will also be able to network in other settings. Did you know about the Scandinavian heritage of the Moorhead area? Have you ever seen a Norwegian Viking ship up close? Have you ever visited the famous Concordia Language Villages? Participants will get to explore the HJEMKOMST CENTER during the Welcome Reception, and may opt to add on an excursion to visit the Concordia Language Villages at the picturesque Turtle River Lake site near Bemidji, Minnesota. IALLT’s (in)famous Pub Crawl and the Closing Event will afford plenty of opportunities to explore the eateries and attractions of downtown Fargo and Moorhead. Participants might also want to visit the Fargo Air Museum, home to aircraft of all eras from a recreated Wright Brothers flyer to a modern Global Hawk drone, or satisfy their sweet tooth at the birthplace of the Dilly Bar at one of the oldest original Dairy Queens in existence! Or they can show off their darker side with a picture with the infamous wood chipper from the Coen brothers’ Fargo! In short, there’s lots to do! Come early or stay late, but please come and share this unique area with us!

Lastly, but importantly, we have in Ron Balko an enthusiastic conference host who is eager to welcome us to his home turf! When Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, was announced as the site for IALLT 2017, Ron told us that it truly wasn’t too FAR-to-GO.  And having spent some time in the Moorhead, MN/Fargo, ND area in preparation for this year’s event, we can vouch for his claim. Check out the conference website for more details and be sure to register before Sunday, April 30th to avail yourself of early-bird conference registration rates.

In other news, IALLT successfully held its 2017 elections and is pleased to announce the names of its new officers: Andrew Ross (President-Elect), Betsy Lavolette (Programs Director), and Shannon Spasova (Secretary-Parliamentarian). They will assume their positions at the end of the IALLT 2017 conference. IALLT congratulates these new officers and thanks all the candidates willing to serve in leadership roles. In addition to the newly-elected officers, the IALLT Board has appointed Stacey Powell to complete Kristy Britt’s term as Treasurer.  Kristy, who was serving her second four-year term, has been elected to serve as President-Elect of the Alabama World Language Association and felt that she needed to step down as IALLT Treasurer to devote herself more fully to her new responsibilities. We wish Kristy great success in her new role and are grateful to both Kristy and Stacey for their dedication to IALLT. The next IALLT election will take place in early 2019. If you are interested in becoming an IALLT officer or in finding other ways to participate in IALLT, please contact one of the Board members. We would love to hear from you!

Have you completed IALLT’s 2017 Status of the Language Learning and Technology Field Survey? IALLT conducts a periodic survey to ascertain the status of professionals in language learning technology and language centers/labs. The results of the survey will be shared at the IALLT 2017 conference and other venues and will inform our community about the direction our field is heading and current trends, assist those planning lab renovations, and shed light on current trends in remuneration and job descriptions. Your input as a language and technology professional and IALLT member is invaluable. Do you work in a language center or lab in ANY role? If so, please help the field and complete the survey by April 21st, 2017! But you do not need to be an IALLT member to participate and so please forward this link to colleagues who are language learning and technology professionals.

Please register for the IALLT 2017 conference ASAP! Early-bird registration ends on Sunday, April 30th 2017! I would love to see you in person at Concordia College in June!

Best wishes,

Sangeetha Gopalakrishnan
~ IALLT’s 26th President