On November 22-24, 2013, the 47th American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention and World Languages Expo was held in Orlando, Florida, USA. The theme was “New Spaces, New Realities: Learning Any Time, Any Place”, which coincides with The Open University of China's (the OUC's) "MyEChinese" Distance Chinese Teaching Platform (http://myechinese.com). As usual, the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) Annual Conference was held in conjunction with the ACTFL annual convention.

The "MyEChinese" Distance Chinese Teaching Platform, the mobile app for learning Chinese, the free open courses on Chinese language and culture at the “iTunes U of the OUC,” the new HSK online practice/mock test (http://hsk.myechinese.com), and other projects presented by the OUC attracted a great deal of attention from the attendees, among which the distance teaching platform online courses China Panorama and Easy Chinese turned out to be quite the hit. 

The MyEChinese Distance Chinese Teaching Platform received a great deal of attention.
An attendee receives information on the MyEChinese online courses.

Tony Wagner, a Harvard education expert, gave the keynote speech entitled “Creating Innovators with Passion, Play, and Purpose” during the opening ceremony. The awards ceremony for national language teachers at the 2014 ACTFL was also conducted during the opening ceremony. 

Background Information


The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) was established in 1966 and consists of foreign language teachers, foreign language teaching experts, and relevant education institutions throughout the United States, . At present, there are roughly 12,300 members, mainly including foreign language teachers, professors, and researchers who teach Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Japanese, etc. at American universities, primary schools, and middle schools, as well as representatives from the American University Council, the State Council, the U.S. Department of Education, education administrations from each state, and relevant education institutions from other countries. Its main goal is to advocate language teaching, to provide development opportunities related to language education, to establish high-quality language teaching standards, to publish specialized language books and journals, and to develop language teaching resources, etc. The publications of the organization include the Foreign Language Annals, The Language Educator, and more.

2. ACTFL Annual Convention

The ACTFL’s annual convention is the top convention in the field of U.S. foreign language teaching each year and it is the only national organization to promote foreign language teaching and learning at each level of education. In recent years, the CLTA often was held in conjunction with the ACTFL and World Language Expo.

By Wang Li, the OUC