In the words of one of the Founders, Dr. Frank Grittner, CSCTFL seeks to maintain “a happy balance between the theoretical and the practical” and to support the work of language professionals within our 14-state region and across the nation.
Dr. Constance Knop (emerita, University of Wisconsin, Madison) was a close friend of our 14 Founders and served on the team that organized the first conference. In her remarks on the occasion of CSCTFL’s 50th anniversary, Dr. Knop reminded us that “the Central States Modern Language Association was formed in 1896. That organization was linked closely to the national Modern Language Association and its annual meeting consisted primarily of learned papers being read, primarily about literature and some on culture. Its members were mostly college and university teachers and the topics reflected their interests.”
In the mid-1960s, a group of 14 visionary language professionals—our Founders—recognized that language instructors would both appreciate, and benefit from, opportunities to share professional best practices that focused not on literary topics but on the theory and practice of world language teaching and learning. Our Founders included: Jermaine Arendt (MN), Jacqueline Elliott (TN), Percy Fearing (MN), Anthony Gradisnik (WI), Frank Grittner (WI), Gilbert Kettlekamp (IL), Charles Kirk (OH), Wallace Magoon (IN), Barbara Ort (MI), J. Henry Owens (MI), Richard Payne (MO), J. Thomas Shaw (WI), Lorraine Strasheim (IN) and Albert Turner (IL).
Like all things in life, people and circumstances change. However, in her remarks Dr. Knop shared two enduring truths:
• CSCTFL offers extraordinary opportunities for professional development, but it needs the support of a large number of volunteers. Please remember to thank the planning team, then contact a board member or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer your time and talents!
• The conference renews itself each year. Be sure to complete the evaluation form, which will be sent to you in an email. With Dr. Knop and our Founders, then, at each year’s conference, let us gather together and say:
Congratulations, Central States on your 54 years!
We are so proud of you.
Bravo, CSCTFL, for the leadership you have shown in supporting the professional development of world language teachers.
Thank you, Team CSCTFL, for making the Founders’ hopes and vision come true.