Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Kathy at the NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Conference in NYC

I attended the 2017 NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), whose theme was Strengthening World Language Education:  Standards for Success, this weekend in NYC.

I am honored to be a member of the NECTFL Advisory Council and attended the annual meeting and luncheon, where I had the opportunity to learn more, make new friends, and meet the  immediate past, present, and future Conference Chairpersons, as well as the Executive Director and thank them for their hard work and dedication in bringing about such a wonderful conference.  Special congratulations and best wishes to the NECTFL Teacher of the Year!

Happily, this week’s wintry weather had little apparent impact on the program, as I learned that over 1,200 were in attendance.

I was very impressed by the number, scope, and quality of the sessions, and attended one on comprehensible input which emphasized the importance of using the target language in the classroom, another on promoting your program, and one on interdisciplinary connections through literature.  I also visited sessions on foreign language advocacy and on target-driven learning pathways.

The exhibits were impressive, with professional associations and vendors well-represented. I was very interested in seeing the wonderful learning materials available, and  I made sure to visit with my AATF  (American Association of Teachers of French) friends at their table and to visit fellow New Jerseyans at the FLENJ (Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey) table.

I returned home inspired by dedication, professionalism, and hard work of so many foreign language educators, with even stronger resolve to continue to devote time and effort to my work as a foreign language educator and advocate.

Languages do matter!





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