Newsletter 2004
Report from a Conference on Languages

     The 37th Annual Meeting and Exposition of ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) was held in Philadelphia last November. This year’s theme was “Building Our Strength through Languages: A National Priority.” U.S. Secretary of Education Ron Paige and Andrew Cuomo spoke at the opening general session.
     ACTFL has an international membership of more than 7,000 foreign language educators and administrators. Professors Helen Bachochin, Flor María Buitrago, Luba Iskold, Eileen Ketchum, and Kathy Wixon attended from Muhlenberg, choosing from among the many workshops and more than 480 sessions devoted to pedagogy, literature, culture, and technology.
One of the highlights of the convention was the exposition sponsored by publishers, universities, embassies, and governmental agencies. We returned to campus with many textbooks, posters, and teaching aids. Professor Buitrago, for example, purchased a beautiful doll-puppet representing the different characters in Caperucita Roja (the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood, and one of the computer programs in the Language Learning Center).
     The conference was a very worthwhile experience. We enjoyed talking to old friends and meeting new colleagues. We also had the chance to meet many of the authors of the textbooks that we use in class, becoming students ourselves and gathering a wealth of information.

--Helen Bachochin