President’s messages – Fall 2016

Dear FLANC Members,

Happy school year to everyone in the language teaching community!

On behalf of the Executive Council, I welcome our returning and new members and invite them to join me in thanking Dr. Fabián Banga, our 2014-2016 FLANC president, for his splendid job at guiding our association through two very productive and exciting years.  It is certainly an honor and a privilege for me to follow on someone who has been an outstanding leader and colleague.  I am especially grateful to know that I will be able to rely on his support and advice along my term.

Reflective of his dynamism as a professional, not only did Dr. Banga diligently fulfilled his duties as president but he has been also our association Webmaster for many years now.  As such, this summer, he took on the responsibility to update our site and turn it into a sophisticated, yet very user friendly and resourceful tool for our members.  Please, take a few minutes to visit our revamp website <www.fla-nc.com> and you will learn of the range of opportunities offered to the diverse language teaching communities in the region.  While in our site, explore the various grants and awards available to instructors as well as their students, such as the Gisèle Hart Membership Award, for new teachers, and the Alexandra C. Wallace Essay Contest, for students interested in conveying their experience in learning a second language.  Embracing our fall conference motto “GoGlobal@FLANC”, we are starting a “Digital Art Contest” and inviting students to create a clip related to the advantages of becoming proficient in another language and culture.  The video clip awarded the first place will be featured in our FLANC website!

As you navigate our site, you will also find information about our many language affiliates, varied regional job listings, and TUF: Teachers Unified for the Future –a committee specially created to support new teachers and instructors.  Attuned to the pursue of professional development by our members, who are remarkably diverse in their interests and institutional situations (schools, community colleges, universities), our association also offers free access to our peer-reviewed digital journal focusing on the teaching of languages.  In Connections: A Journal for Foreign Language Educators, members can find articles on current research and best practices for language instruction written by colleagues and experts from the Northern California region as well as other parts of the country.  Besides being present in social media via Facebook, Tweeter, and LinkedIn, this fall, we are launching a podcast in our website that will be offering a variety of interviews, discussions, book reviews, and teaching tips to members.

Having been a member of the FLANC Executive Council for almost ten years, I am very aware that one of the strengths of our association is that, with each transition, it eagerly opens its doors to fresh energy, diversity in leadership styles, and the possibility for innovation.  I want you to know it is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to serve as your president for the next two years and, with great pride, I am excited to introduce you to our new Executive Council members:

Dr. Deolinda Adao, Prof. of Portuguese and Director of the Center for European Studies, is our liaison with this vital and important center located at UC Berkeley.

Ms. Elizabeth Cisneros, Lecturer in Spanish at UC Merced, specializes in the use of technology in the language classroom.  You can read her article about the use of apps in the classroom in this fall FLANC Newsletter.

Dr. Branka Sarac, Director of Technology Integration at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, is part of our Instructional Technology Committee.

Dr. Gaye Walton-Price, Prof. of Arabic at Berkeley City College, will be offering her expertise in the study and teaching of critical-need languages.

Please, join me in welcoming these new Council members, who will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening the heart and soul of our association and to enhance the growth and affirmation of our diverse language teaching communities.

I must admit this will be one challenging year for me, as I serve our association in a privileged, yet demanding position, while I am also focusing on finishing my dissertation.  I feel confident, though, that I will be able to successfully handle such responsibilities because I know first hand of the generosity and understanding of my colleagues.  Thus, I would like to take a moment to express my heartfelt thanks to every one of the members in the FLANC Executive Council, as well as to past-presidents Ed Stering and Masahiko Minami.  I am grateful to all for their constant support and for the pleasure of working with such a wonderful, committed team always in search of new ways to make the Foreign Language Association of Northern California an exciting venue to make resources available to language educators in their pursue of professional development.  Such strong commitment is reflected every year in the diversity of presentations, practical workshops, outstanding sponsors, and leading exhibitors, FLANC members can find in our conference.

I trust you are as excited as I am about the beginning of a new school year!  Please, feel free to contact me or any member of the Council Board with any questions, comments, or concerns that you might have.  You will find our contact information readily available in the association website.

Last, on behalf of the Executive Council, please, allow me to take this opportunity to extend our invitation to you to participate in this fall FLANC Conference, which will take place on Saturday, October 29th, at Berkeley City College.  This year we are planning on ending the day with a complimentary reception that will include a light dinner and music for our members.  I hope you can join us!

Looking forward to meeting you at our conference,

Sandra García Sanborn

Written By FLANC