President’s Letter For Fall 2016

Dear IALLT Members,

I hope your Fall semester got off to a great start! Since my last communication with the IALLT membership much has happened in IALLT and I want to bring you abreast of some IALLT news.

First, I am pleased to present Volume 46, Issue 1 of the IALLT Journal. On behalf of IALLT I want to extend my gratitude to the IALLT Journal Managing Editor, Dan Soneson, for all his hard work in compiling this journal issue. You will, I hope, be as impressed as I am by the individual contributions for which I thank all the authors.

With the beginning of the Fall semester planning for the IALLT 2017 conference, which takes place at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, June 21 – 24, 2017, has picked up its pace. The call for conference proposals for the IALLT 2017 conference has just gone out. I hope you are making plans to submit a proposal, and attend the conference. Don’t miss it! We hope that this IALLT conference will energize existing IALLT members, and attract new ones.

The beginning of the Fall 2016 semester also brought some much awaited good news for IALLT: the transition to a new IALLT website is complete. Please review the new website and let us know what you think!

The beginning of the Fall semester also brought IALLT some sad news, namely, the passing away of Ruth Trometer, past IALLT president. As noted on the IALLT website, it was under the presidency of Ruth Trometer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that the then IALL began hosting independent, biennial meetings on the campuses of its members in 1989. IALLT is hugely indebted to Ruth for her organizational vision and contributions. As IALLT’s 26th president I am in awe of and inspired by the legacy that she has left behind.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contributions made by another long-time IALLTer and LLTI moderator, Otmar Foelsche. As many of you know, LLTI, the Language Learning Technology International listserv, is a service of IALLT and the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning.  It was first created by Otmar over 30 years ago and hosted by Dartmouth College where he worked for many years. LLTI has proven to be a vital conduit of information and a professional support life line for many of us in the language learning technology community. Upon his retirement and over the last several months Otmar has transitioned the task of moderating LLTI to Thomas Garbelotti of UCLA. IALLT is hugely grateful to Otmar for running LLTI effectively for over 30 years and making such a valuable resource available to the language learning technology community. IALLT also appreciates Tom’s willingness to serve in this important role.

Like Tom Garbelotti (LLTI moderator), in the last few months, other IALLT members have taken on leadership roles including Stephanie Korslund (Publicity Coordinator), and Stacey Jackson (Copy Editor). We continue to need current IALLT members to take on open board and council positions. The IALLT elections cycle is underway! Nominations are now being accepted for the election of IALLT officers for the 2017-2019 terms for the positions of president-elect, programs director and secretary. If you wish to nominate someone, or yourself, let us know.

We have been looking to expand IALLT’s membership by also attracting future professionals, namely promising graduate students. So we were delighted to learn that about 27 graduate students from the department of Modern Language Studies, California State University, San Marcos joined IALLT as student members! This department decided to use discretionary funds to grant their graduate students IALLT memberships. What an innovative idea to facilitate graduate students’ professional development and a great way to invest in these students’ future! We appreciate their confidence in IALLT’s value to graduate students and applaud their decision! Remember that IALLT’s graduate student members are encouraged to present at the biennial IALLT conference and publish to the IALLT Journal. Do interest a graduate student or two in your department in IALLT!

To encourage the involvement of graduate students IALLT offers Ursula Williams Graduate Student Conference Grants. Five graduate students used these grants to attend FLEAT6 in August 2015 and are becoming good ambassadors for IALLT; three of them serve as IALLT’s graduate student representatives, working to identify strategies to encourage student participation in IALLT activities. They have also made three contributions to this edition of the IALLT Journal. I encourage you to review these!

To expand the reach of the monthly IALLT webinars, which are a valuable professional development resource, they are now freely accessible to the public. Access to the archived webinar sessions, however, is an IALLT member benefit. Review the impressive line-up of presenters and topics for the 2016-2017 IALLT webinar series and plan to attend them! Do help spread the word about the webinars!

The next IALLT publication, an edited book about the Past, Present, and Future of the Language Center is in the final stages of publication. The LCD (Language Center Design) and the ManMan (Management Manual) are being combined into a “one-stop” publication for a broader audience. Tentatively called The Language Center Handbook, it will be available before the IALLT 2017 conference.

IALLT communicates through multiple channels, including the IALLT website, the LLTI listserv, Facebook, and Twitter.  Use one or more of these forums to stay connected with colleagues and abreast of IALLT’s activities!

Best wishes,

Sangeetha Gopalakrishnan,

~ IALLT’s 26th president