President’s Message

Welcome to 2018! Following the success of the 100 year celebration of NYSAFLT is daunting: What’s next? Where do we go from here? How can I follow in their footsteps? However, I’ve been inspired and encouraged by so many NYSA-colleagues, past and present, to continue into the next century of NYSA-excellence in world language education.

I was fortunate to hear Ying Jin, ACTFL’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, speak in Nashville and was inspired when she said, “The letter C is important in the lives of world language teachers.” Of course that brings to mind the 5 C’s of the ACTFL standards and Can-do Statements; however, my mind kept finding more C’s that pertain to NYSAFLT and world language (WL) educators. I furiously started scribbling my notes.


Besides our inter-organizational collaborations, NYSAFLT supports ACTFL and NECTFL and works with its organizational members, as well as NYSED’s Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL). In addition to our past work, including the NYS Seal of Biliteracy, NYSAFLT is currently working with the OBEWL on a committee to review NY’s world language standards, a very important step toward supporting our work and reinstating our WL state assessments.


NYSAFLT communicates with you through our Newsletter, The Language Association Journal, website, and NYSAFLT Connect emails. You can make your experience more “interpersonal” by participating on a committee, becoming a regional director, and/or an officer. Just ask us how!


The teacher shortage is real! You can help by supporting and mentoring new colleagues, hosting student teachers, and encouraging students to become WL teachers. Where to start? Checkout ACTFL’s “Educators Rising” initiative to turn language learners into language teachers.

Did you know that NYSAFLT has a Job Placement Service. As a member, you can sign up to receive notification of job postings received by NYSAFLT or encourage your school to post openings with us.


NYSAFLT can’t do it alone. We rely on you, our community of leaders and learners, to grow and shape our organization and our profession. Please consider

  • presenting at one of our conferences,
  • participating in our social media circles,
  • contributing an article to one of our publications,
  • applying to our Leaders of Tomorrow program,
  • joining one of our committees, and/or
  • running as a director or an officer.


As WL teachers, we advocate for our students and programs everyday. We need to take that advocacy and apply it outside of our comfort zone by presenting our successes and recommendations to our Boards of Education, communities, business partners and legislators. How can NYSAFLT help?

  • Explore our Advocacy page for talking points, sample letters, position statements, and more.
  • Read NYSAFLT Connect emails for up-to-date information from the profession, NYSED, and national initiatives.
  • Find resources to support your goals. For example, have you read America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century? This national report by the Commission on Language Learning “recommends a national strategy to improve access to as many languages as possible for people of every region, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background…”


NYSAFLT offers two major conferences for opportunities to connect with like-minded WL professionals, as well as harnessing our collective energy to improve our work and learn new methods to bring back to our classrooms. Please consider attending and/or presenting to share your passions and expertise.

  • 2018 Summer Institute: August 7-10 at SUNY Oneonta
  • 2018 Annual Conference: October 19-20 in Rochester, NY

Can’t wait for more professional development? Then take a look at

Did you know that NYSAFLT is CTLE Certified by NYSED? Our professional development counts toward your 100 hours needed for maintaining professional certification.

Connect your colleagues with NYSAFLT. Tell them about our organization and ask them to join or renew their membership. Give the gift of a membership to a student-teacher or new colleague. Ask your school to fund your department’s memberships.

NYSAFLT’s identity and work is that of our members. Your influence determines what we create, how we can change, and how we can create change for our students and our profession. Using all of the C’s in our collective toolkit, we can create multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and tolerant young citizens.

Thank you for being a part of a tradition of excellence as NYSAFLT continues into its next century!

Warm wishes for 2018!

Michelle Shenton

Michelle Shenton