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Chinese Program in State of Washington
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CLTA-WA has, in essence, been meeting since 2005, originally as the Chinese Language Teachers Network (CLTN). It went through stages of metamorphosis before the reaching its current incarnation. Each stage has been the result of hard work and the passion of dedicated Chinese education professionals. The journey started with the work of Professors Greg Youtz and Paul Manfredi at Pacific Lutheran University, and later, joined by Professor Lotus Perry at the University of Puget Sound and subsequently, Adam Ross of Lakeside School. Operating with a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, they started the journey of providing Chinese teachers in the State of Washington a networking forum and funding for professional development opportunities. In 2006, Chunman Gissing, Adam Ross, Meitsu Chuang-Mendel and Michele Anciaux-Aoki met to form the Chinese Language Core Team of the State of Washington. Together with CLTN, the two groups established a framework to focus on language learning and teaching issues in support of expanding Chinese language capacity in Washington state. In 2006, the "Starting a Chinese Program in Your Community" program helped inform and support Washington State communities desirous of establishing a Chinese program in their institutions. The program has been requested and offered many times throughout the years to appreciative community groups. Regularly scheduled high caliber, beneficial workshops, at least twice annually, have been offered in the region during this stage of collaboration between CLTN and Chinese Language Core Team. Throughout this period, the groups received support from institutions, such as the University of Puget Sound, The Lakeside School, University of Puget Sound and from the State Innovations Grant, as well as many individual benefactors. The generosity of these institutions and individuals, as well as the hard work of many a volunteer, made it possible for us to offer a series of free workshops led by highly regarded Chinese language educators, such as Dr. Cynthia Ning of the University of Hawaii, Dr. Haiyan Fu of Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Jennifer Liu of Indiana University and many others. These workshops served to inform and advance professional knowledge and skills of Chinese language teachers in the state and often attracted teachers from Oregon as well.
Formal state registration as a non-profit organization was the next natural step. CLTN-WA was then organized and registered with the State of Washington in 2008. CLTN-WA served as a transitional organization with the goal of establishing the Chinese Language Teachers Association - Washington State. Lotus Perry and Adam Ross took the lead in laying the groundwork. It resulted In the 2009 registration of CLTA-WA in the State of Washington as a non profit organization. The first president-elect, Pollyanna Wang, a certificated teacher of Chinese through the Seattle Schools Startalk program, took up the role with gusto and grit, leading the organization to work closely with the newly established Confucius Institute of the State of Washington to promote quality Chinese education in Washington state. Today, CLTA-WA continues to offer high quality workshops to area teachers. One highlight was an all day workshop led by Dr. Myriam Met. This workshop was opened to all area teachers of world languages. About 100 Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and other language teachers gathered to learn from Dr. Met, ushering in a new era of collaboration. CLTA-WA strives network with area language teachers to advance the cause of language learning. It also aims to join hands with the CLTA-USA by creating a framework to enable CLTA to establish a formal affiliation with Chinese language professional organizations throughout the U.S. The CLTA-WA board has read a draft of the affiliation agreement, and in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, voted to affiliate with CLTA-USA.
CLTA-WA is now led by an 11-member board and is a fee based membership organization. Built upon the solid foundation laid by those who came before us, this board seeks to continue the good work and traditions thus far established, and aspires to serve the community with equal dedication, passion, and commitment to the Association's mission: "to promote quality teaching of Chinese language at all educational levels in the State of Washington. It shall inform the public about issues related to teaching Chinese; develop a resource network for Chinese language educators; and arrange professional development workshops for teachers."
We wish to honor all those who have labored so hard and so well in the field of Chinese as a Foreign Language here in Washington State and elsewhere for paving the way for us to continue their work. Of those more recent contributors to the field, we extend a special salute to Betty Lau of Seattle Public Schools for her foresight and brilliant work in successfully securing many grant monies to fund teacher training of less commonly taught languages in Washington state and establishment of Chinese programs in Seattle, and her tireless work in the Chinese community. We also extend a special thank you to Karen Kodama, the first International Education Administrator of Seattle Public Schools, and Michele Anciaux-Aoki of Washington State OSPI for their continuing support of our work. And last but not least, we thank Fraser Mendel, quite possibly the world's only legal counsel who not only provides us wise, thorough and patient legal counsel on a pro bono basis, but also cooks and and offers us the best home roasted and brewed coffee throughout the organization's growth stages since its Core Team days. And Fraser does it all with a indulging smile, always! To Fraser Mendel, our wonderful legal counsel, we extend a very heart felt thank you for the invaluable guidance, contribution and friendship you so lovingly and generously offer!
We welcome interested individuals and institutions to join us, as members, to work together in the cause of promoting quality Chinese education in the State of Washington.
CLTA-WA regularly hosts two to four meetings each year.
- CLTA-WA offers workshops and training sessions for local teachers, schools, and interested parents and individuals from the community. Past workshop presenters include experienced local teachers and prominent experts in the field.
CLTA-WA maintains an email list to inform its network members of resources, meetings, workshops and job opportunities in the region. If you are interested in joining the list, please contact us at
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