The South Central Association for Language Learning Technology Is Gearing Up For Another Exciting Conference

Marie Schein, PhD, SOCALLT President and French Instructor at Texas Christian University.

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Nancy Guilloteau, PhD, SOCALLT President Elect and Language Program Director of Lower Division French at the University of Texas.

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Georges Detiveaux, Immediate Past President of SOCALLT and Assistant Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at the University of Houston-Downtown.

 

The SOCALLT region includes the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, and New Mexico. SOCALLT began as SOCALL, having more of a focus on language labs. With the advent of web-enhanced language teaching and learning, the name was changed to better reflect a broader group of faculty and staff who use a wider variety of technology tools in teaching and learning. SOCALLT hosts an annual conference, inviting those interested in current trends and best practices in technology enhanced teaching and learning. Although it can be challenging for “SOCALLTers” to attend the conference, it is great to see how our attendance and membership represents a wide cross-section of individuals from industry, K-12, public and private institutions, community colleges, 4-year universities, and larger graduate degree granting institutions as well.

In the recent past, SOCALLT has held its conference in Texas in odd-numbered years, and the officers reach out to members and officers from the other 5 states in the service area to host the conference in even-numbered years. Conference registration is a bargain, at only $50, and due to generous sponsorship from host institutions and industry representatives, meals and door prizes are also often included in our events.

The officers serve two-year terms and all do so on a voluntary basis. The organization’s by-laws call for nominations and elections to take place at the annual meeting. As such, SOCALLT is currently seeking nominations for a President Elect (who will eventually serve as President) and a Treasurer. If you are interested in being on the board of an active organization passionate about technology in language teaching and learning and would like more information on the duties and responsibilities associated with these positions, contact Immediate Past President, Georges Detiveaux, at detiveauxg@uhd.edu.

This year, SOCALLT will hold its annual conference in Austin, Texas, April 24-25. We are very happy to have been invited to return to the campus of the University of Texas at Austin and are grateful to our President-Elect, Nancy Guilloteau, for organizing the two-day conference.   Dr. Nancy Guilloteau is the French Language Program Director in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Conference will be co-sponsored by COERLL (Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning) and the TLC (Texas Language Center), two campus entities that promote and sponsor innovative approaches to language teaching and learning.

 

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COERLL, one of 16 National Foreign Language Resource Centers (LRC’s) funded by the US Department of Education strives to “improve the teaching and learning of foreign languages by producing resources (materials and best practices) that can be profitably employed in a variety of settings”. Their website features many types of open materials for numerous languages, including the less commonly taught languages, in addition to videos and recorded presentations explaining how to create and use OERs (open educational resources).

 

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The TLC serves as a valuable support to the community of language instructors within the University, and an online resource for those outside of the UT community. They offer a variety of incentives and services for language instructors, including but not limited to development grants for creation of pedagogical materials, foreign language teaching excellence awards, monthly Language Matters presentations, Saturday workshops for CPE credit, and numerous links to resources available on their website.
The SOCALLT Officers express their gratitude to the individuals of these two Centers who have been instrumental in the planning of SOCALLT 2015, namely Betsy Brown of the TLC, and Rachel Gilg of COERLL, along with their respective directors, Tom Garza and Carl Blyth.

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Dr. Dave McAlpine, Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Second Language Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Dave McAlpine, Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Second Language Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the 2014 recipient of the ACTFL Wilga Rivers Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education, Higher Education.

Dr. McAlpine has served as president of the Arkansas Foreign Language Teacher’s Association, board chair of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and was president of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 2012.

 

 

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