President's Message, Fall 2019

Dear FLANC Members,

Happy school year to everyone in the language teaching community!  On behalf of FLANC, I want to start by thanking all language educators, exhibitors, affiliates, and presenters who made our last fall conference a terrific success.  Thank you for making it such a fun and productive day!  

Please, keep in mind that our Fall 2019 FLANC Conference is taking place a month ahead than usual.  This year, we hope to see you all again on Saturday, September 21st at Salesian College Preparatory, in the City of Richmond, where conference presenters will share the latest pedagogical trends, best practices on technology-mediated tasks, and activities to integrate the intercultural dimension in language learning.  Moreover, FLANC is honored to have Ms. Ying Jin, 2018 ACTFL Teacher of the Year, as the conference Keynote Speaker.  We are excited and grateful for her participation and are looking forward to an outstanding, inspiring presentation. 

Spring was a season full of wonderful surprises and experiences for me in the realm of languages and cultures.  In April, I was once again kindly invited by CLTAC President Li and its Executive Board to participate in their yearly Mandarin Chinese Speech Contest –this one being their 44th!!– and, just like last year, I was delighted by an engaging, diverse artistic program filled with music, dance, poetry, and the always magical Dragon Dance performance.  Upon arrival, I got a warm welcome by my colleagues Hsin-Yun Liu and Wendy Tu, who made sure I had a terrific time all along and did not miss any detail.  Needless to say, my very favorite moment was participating on stage, giving out diplomas and trophies to the many brilliant students who passed their tests with flying colors.  It is such a beautiful ceremony brimming with excitement and joy from students and parents alike!

April was a very special month because I was also invited to the 6th Ocha Zanmai: 2019 San Francisco International Conference on Chanoyu and Tea Cultures, organized by Dr. Midori McKeon, professor of Japanese at California State University San Francisco.  This year theme, International Commerce and the Development of Tea Cultures: Silk Road and the Age of Discovery, gathered local, national, and international presenters who focused on a diversity of cultures -Persian, Tibetan, Korean, Chinese, Japanese- and their relationship to tea cultures and textiles production as well as the disseminations of these traditions.  Through enthusiastic and enlightening lectures about a diversity of related topics, attendees were mesmerized by a wealth of information about fields rarely explored and discussed in such depth in our region.  Along the conference, Dr. McKeon was the most gracious hostess and, with outmost generosity, even arranged my participation in a tea ceremony attended by the presenters during lunchtime.  This was a great honor and a special memory to keep.  As a closing conference event, we were all invited to a tea testing of a variety of teas from Asia and to learn first hand, through a lecture and display of fabrics by Mr. Kazuhiro Suzuki, about ancient imported textiles and their relationship to Japanese tea culture.  As Director of the Suzuki Research Institute of Ancient Textiles, Mr. Suzuki brought many exquisite samples from his personal collection and surprised each if us with a gift set of four different styles of textiles.  Hats off to Dr. McKeon for offering such an impeccable event that was a rich, revealing experience for every one of us attending.  I am certainly looking forward to the 7th Ocha Zanmai: San Francisco International Conference on Chanoyu and Tea Cultures next year.    

Of course, I am also looking forward to participating in other cultural events and conferences organized by our affiliates and FLANC members so as to continue exploring, learning, and developing my own intercultural competence by becoming acquainted with the traditions of the culture behind each of the languages often represented at our conference.

Finally, I would like to remind our members to consider the various grants and awards offered by FLANC, which are announced in our website.  Please, remember that each fall you can have your students send a video clip to the FLANC Digital Art Contest.  This year the deadline is September 15th.  Please, find more details in this fall Newsletter and keep in mind that entries will be broadcasted throughout the day during the conference.

I hope you join us this September 21st!! 

Looking forward to meeting you at Salesian College Preparatory, 

Sandra García Sanborn 

FLANC President

President’s Message, Fall 2018

Dear FLANC Members,

Happy school year to everyone in the language teaching community!  I hope this summer break provided you with many chances to relax and re-energize for the new year.  I am honored to be serving as FLANC president and, together with the always supporting members of our Executive Board, I want to thank all language educators, exhibitors, affiliates, and presenters who made our last fall conference a great success!  

Just like last year, this October conference combines a diversity of sessions on theoretical concepts and practical ideas offered by passionate, knowledgeable, and inspiring speakers and presenters.  We are excited to have our conference in the City of Moraga and are deeply grateful and proud for Saint Mary’s College hosting the event. In this regard, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Frances Sweeney, Vice President for Mission and Professor of Spanish at Saint Mary’s College, for her professionalism, caring, and respect for FLANC as we organize this fall conference. 

We strive to offer our members a professional event that places as much emphasis on classroom techniques as on online learning opportunities.  Thus, we are delighted to have Dr. Julie Sykes, professor at the University of Oregon, as our Keynote Speaker. Needless to say her presentation, titled L2 Pragmatics and Digitally-Mediated Communication: Innovation in World Language Education, will be the highlight of the conference and a fantastic opportunity to learn about the current issues in language learning.

Finally, I would like to also remind our members to consider the various grants and awards offered by FLANC and, especially, to congratulate the winners of the 2018 Alexandra C. Wallace Essay Contest:

First Place: Leon Chou, from Albany High School – Pam Lim-McAlister (teacher)

Second Place: Jay Francisco, from Salesian College Preparatory – William Heidenfeldt (teacher)

Congratulations to Leon and to Jay, and to the many students from diverse schools who also participated with interesting and creative essays!  All participating students were honored with the Alexandra C. Wallace Essay Contest Certificate. Consider encouraging your students to take part in an activity that can enhance motivation and linguistic competence.  

If you do not want to wait till spring. . . You can have your students send a video clip to the FLANC Digital Art Contest.  The deadline is October 15. Please, find more details in this fall Newsletter and keep in mind that entries will be broadcasted through the day during the conference. 

I hope you join us this October!  

Looking forward to meeting you at our conference,

Sandra García Sanborn 

FLANC President

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