InterviewsNovember 2018

Interview with Jeff Magoto on the Upcoming IALLT 2019 Conference

Jeff Magoto
Jeff Magoto is the language center director at the University of Oregon where the next IALLT conference will be hosted on June 19-22, 2019. Here a link to the Call for Proposal. The deadline is December 6, 2018. The International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT) is a professional organization that provides leadership in the integration of instructional technology into the foreign language classroom.


Edwige: Hi, Jeff, can you introduce yourself?

Jeff: My name is Jeff Magoto and I’m the language center director at the University of Oregon, and one of the proud co-hosts of IALLT 2019. I’m a longtime IALLT member—one of my mentors at Ohio University in the 80’s was C.P. Richardson,  who was a leader of the organization in its earliest years (over 50 of them ago)! I was an ESL instructor and recently appointed CALL lab manager.  C.P. took me aside and told me that I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, that there was a professional organization for people who were doing work similar to mine. It took me another 2 or 3 years to officially join the organization, but by that time I was hooked on the LLTI listserv and IALLT’s publications on lab management and software reviews.

Edwige: The University of Oregon will be hosting the next IALLT conference in June 2019. When was the last time IALLT visited the Pacific coast?

The last time an IALLT conference was held in the Pacific Northwest was Foreign Language Education And Technology III (FLEAT III),  which was in 1997 at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Hot Potatoes,  the free suite of web-based authoring tools which were developed there,  was one of the hot items of the conference. Twenty-one years later we’re glad to welcome folks back.

Edwige: What motivated you and your team to offer to host the conference?

Jeff: Well there are several factors. We think we’re pretty good at conference hosting, and we think IALLTers will really enjoy visiting Oregon. Every year we host Foreign Language and Int’l Studies Day for 1250 high school students and teachers, which is far more taxing logistically. The University has a a new student union  which will serve as the conference venue. This past year we hosted a very successful COFLT conference there. Finally, the IALLT board has a wealth of experience and a board member, Stacey Powell, who excels at conference planning.

Edwige: What’s the theme of the conference?

Jeff:  The Theme for the 2019 conference is “Crafting Communities of Learners”. It celebrates the role of language centers, instructors, and campus technologists not only in supporting the academic success of language students through informed use of technology, but also in creating bridges across cultures and constituencies. Hopefully, it’ll also honor the strong “craft” community of Eugene, whether that’s the pottery studio that’s adjacent to our conference facility or the many artisans who live here.

Edwige: What are the highlights of the program? Do you have keynotes picked out?

The program, in true IALLT fashion, will be quite eclectic, but we think there’ll be more panels than in previous years, which should provide attendees with a great opportunity to get a synthesis of best practices across different contexts. One of our keynote speakers is the amazing Michele Aoki, who’s the former World Languages Program Supervisor in the state of Washington, and a longtime innovator in curriculum and instruction. She brings a wealth of experience in planning, implementing, and evaluating K-12 Dual Language Immersion programs. She’ll provide a fresh perspective on what technology does well in language learning contexts.

Edwige: Who is your audience for the conference?

The conference will be of particular interest to K-16 language instructors, to staff affiliated with media centers and language resource centers, and to developers of hardware and software applicable to language learning. But we’re hoping to expand on that to take advantage of our unique local situation. One will be presentations aimed at attendees at the Northwest Indian Language Institute; another will be a panel by students and faculty from Language Flagship institutions in the area.

Edwige: Can you give us a sense of how big the conference is going to be.  How many concurrent tracks do you expect? What types of papers?

We expect we’ll have around 200 attendees with about half coming from the Northwest and the other half from around the country and around the globe. There’ll be pre-conference workshops in YLC’s newly remodeled language center, and there’ll be approximately 100 sessions over the two and a half days of presentations. The facilities invite a variety of presentation types and venue sizes, from workshops and maker spaces for small groups to traditional papers and demonstrations for many.

Edwige: What are the lodging options for attendees?

The conference hotel is the Phoenix Inn Suites, which is adjacent to the University. It provides a great value (proximity to the riverwalk, airport shuttle, breakfast, close to restaurants) and a comfortable night’s rest. But there are other interesting places as well — new downtown hotels, lots of bed and breakfast places, and, of course, Airbnb.

Edwige: Will there be any time for a little sightseeing?

There’ll definitely be time for sightseeing. The traditional IALLT Pub Crawl will explore Eugene’s “Fermentation District”. On Saturday we’ll end early enough for those who want to go over to the coast for some crab chowder and a stroll on the beach. And, for those who opt to fly in and out of Portland, they should definitely spend an extra day to explore its wonderful downtown and surrounding area.


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