CALICO’s current president, Jon Reinhardt, would like to update you on some things going on with CALICO right now.
pdf version: President Letter Fall 2019
November 6, 2019
Dear CALICO members,
With most of us at least halfway through our Fall semesters, this letter is a bit later than usual, but better late than never.
We were all very saddened a few weeks ago to learn of the passing of Dr. Robert Fischer, the Executive Director of CALICO from 1997 to 2011. Bob’s legacy as a key player in the early years of CALL and his gift to us of this organization is something for which we will all be forever grateful. In 2013, CALICO members put together a Festschrift for Bob, which I recommend looking through for a first or second time to understand the role he played in our organization’s survival starting in 1997 (https://journals.equinoxpub.com/CALICO/issue/view/1919). We have also recently learned that Texas State has set up a scholarship in his honor for French students – more info on how to make a contribution will be forthcoming. There is no question that the decisions Bob made then led CALICO to where it is today, one of the world’s leading academic CALL organizations. May we all find inspiration and encouragement in the legacy of his leadership. We will have a tribute to Bob next Spring at CALICO 2020 in Seattle as well as in CALICO Journal.
Plans for CALICO 2020 are coming along. It will be an exciting conference, in a city that is a global center of technological innovation. The theme of the conference is ‘Global Realities’, a phrase reflecting the challenges and opportunities CALL faces in responding both to new technological developments like augmented, mixed, and virtual reality, as well as to a world where language learning is increasingly happening in informal, technology-mediated contexts. While the call for proposals is closed, we are planning a variety of events for conference goers that live up to our reputation as a conference that is educational, accessible, and enjoyable for students, newcomers, and seasoned CALL professionals and academics. If you have colleagues in schools, universities and community colleges in the area, encourage them to attend and tell their students. We have a number of grants for students to attend.
While I’ll share more about conference specifics in the Spring newsletter, if you are the type who starts planning early, please do consider staying at the conference hotel, the Renaissance Seattle (a Marriott hotel). As we did last year, we have a certain number of rooms we have to fill, so we ask that conference goers stay there if it is at all possible. Closer to the conference, we will make possible to find a roommate so you can share the cost of a hotel room if you wish to do so.
CALICO will be well-represented at ACTFL 2019, this November 22-24 in Washington, DC. For those of you who will be attending, we are in the process of putting together a list of presentations that will be delivered by CALICO members at ACTFL, so we can learn from and support each other. Check your email in the next week or so for that information, and mark your calendars accordingly. (If you are presenting and haven’t already shared your information and would like to, please provide your information by Friday, November 8 here: https://forms.gle/JhpWtGqSfL4V1Gbb6 )
Also, if you’ll be at ACTFL, please mark your calendars for a CALICO meeting on Friday 11/22, at 5pm in the Marriott Marquis DC Cherry Blossom Room – this is a time slot we are granted by virtue of being “Organizational Members” of ACTFL. Please plan on attending this session if you can, and – most importantly –
bring a friend who isn’t a member of CALICO! We are trying to increase awareness of CALICO among ACTFL-goers, and we all know that technology is a popular topic at ACTFL. (In fact, there are 344 sessions that have been tagged with the “Innovative Use of Technology” keyword, not to mention some 75+ sessions that have the word “technology” in their title!). So this is a great opportunity to make sure folks are aware of our organization. The meeting will consist of a short introduction to CALICO, with a trivia quiz (and prizes!), and we will go from there to an impromptu happy hour in High Velocity bar, in the same hotel.
In other developments, we are working on coming up with new means of increasing CALICO membership, including offering new services and products that are exclusive benefits for CALICO members. We think there is space for us to build on our reputation and experience as an organization that does an excellent job at academic professionalization and networking, especially for graduate students and scholars building their careers. As experts in CALL, our membership has much to share with each other, including mentorship and both scholarly and practical knowledge. Some of the ideas for new membership benefits include an additional book series, issue briefs, a shared syllabus/materials bank, a mentorship program, virtual class visits, and consulting services. To raise the organization’s profile and boost membership, we’re thinking of developing and offering conference plenary videos, video-based app reviews, and podcasts and videos on popular CALL topics as freely available. If any of these ideas speak to you and you’d like to be involved in their development, please contact me directly. As with any volunteer organization, long term success of any new service or product depends on the commitment, time, and energy of devoted members.
If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone else for incoming Vice-President (to eventually become President and then Past President), or to serve on the Executive Board, please do. More information is available at our website : https://calico.org/call-for-nominations/.
Finally, if you’re on social media, please like and follow CALICO’s Facebook page, and join the group pages for the Special Interest Groups. They’re all pretty active, and some also offer regular newsletters. It’s a great way to get involved, network, and contribute to what makes CALICO the best professional organization around.
Have an excellent ending to the semester and year.
– Jon Reinhardt