Saturday, December 23, 2017

Holiday Wishes from COTSEAL

Dear COTSEAL members,

As 2017 year draws to a close, we want to take a moment to thank you for your continued support to COTSEAL. From volunteering to participating at our events, your contributions matter to the development of our Southeast Asian language teaching. With the support of Cornell SEAP and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and many of SEA NRCs, we successfully held the Conference on Southeast Asian Teaching: New Directions last September. Many of our members reap the benefits from the workshop. We shared teaching materials and effective teaching strategies and mobilized to formalize our language specific organizations. We hope we will continue our collaboration to strengthen our field.

Wishing you a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

COTSEAL Officers: Juliana Wijaya, Pittaya (Fon) Paladroi, and Agustini

Thursday, December 21, 2017

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines Workshop April 20-21, 2018

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines Workshop for Southeast Asian Language Teachers
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 20-21, 2018

Sponsored by COTSEAL

You are invited to apply to participate in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines Workshop for Southeast Asian Language Teachers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor April 20-21, 2018.
This two-day workshop will familiarize participants with the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, ACTFL Rating Scale, and the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview Process, and the implications of proficiency for academic and professional purposes. It will include the application of proficiency for Southeast Asian language instruction and assessment, and how proficiency guidelines can be customized to address specific program needs and goals.
Upon completion of the workshop, there will be follow-up activities involving proficiency-based material development to support the integration of the ACTFL guidelines in Southeast Asian language teaching.

Priority will be given to those applicants who make a firm commitment to participate in the follow-up activities, and who have not yet received the ACTFL guidelines/OPI training.

Application should be submitted online at by January 22, 2018.

To apply to participate in the ACTFL workshop, please submit:
1. A one page statement describing your background in teaching a Southeast Asian language and your commitment to apply the knowledge you gain from the ACTFL proficiency training to your language teaching.

2. Your CV covering your language teaching experience.  
With acceptance, your registration cost for the workshop is covered. 

To request funding for travel and accommodation
3. Submit a statement of need including information from your institution indicating what portion of the cost they can cover.  It is expected that participants from NRCs will seek travel funds from their institution, but if full funding is not available, they can also apply for travel support.

Active membership in COTSEAL is required to participate in the ACTFL workshop.
To renew or become a member please fill out this form:

Questions should be addressed to

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Report on the 2017 COTSEAL Conference on Southeast Asian Teaching: New Directions

An historic meeting of the Southeast Asian language teachers took place this year at the Conference on Southeast Asian Teaching: New Directions, on September 8-10, 2017 at Cornell University. 

The conference was hosted by Cornell’s Southeast Asian Program, and co-sponsored by Asian Studies and the Language Resource Center. This event is also part of a series of professional workshops that began at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015, which was co-sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of University of California, Los Angeles, and the 2016 meeting, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, and sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. All the three workshops were co-sponsored by Henry Luce Foundation. About 70 people registered to participate in the 2017 conference. It was one of a kind conference that included all the major stakeholders involved in the teaching of SEA languages in the U.S, namely, language teachers, academics, and grant organizations and administrators. The event not only served as a catalyst to foster a stronger sense of camaraderie among all language teachers, and collaboration among different universities, but also strengthen the field of teaching SEA languages.

The conference was a dynamic event packed with various activities that allowed participants to be involved and engaged. After the registration and welcoming lunch, the conference kicked off with the meetings of specific language groups. including Burmese, Khmer, Indonesian, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. In this session, the participants discussed issues of relevance to their language of instruction and their interests. The next event was a thematic session in which the SEA language faculty at Cornell University shared their insights on implementing a one-credit hour jumpstart course. The highlight of the day was the keynote address entitled “Culturally Speaking: Intercultural Competence and Attaining Advanced L2 Proficiency” by Dr. Thomas Garza, UT Regents and University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin.

The second day began with a session of language specific meetings followed by a series of presentations on COTSEAL Materials Development Project: Reflections. The COTSEAL content-based materials development project has been up and running since 2015 and supervised by Dr. Erlin Bernard, Pedagogy Coordinator for Less Commonly Taught Languages, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The afternoon section exhibited poster presentations, a follow up workshop by Dr. Thomas Garza on one of the most recent trends, backward curriculum design, and a series of presentations on the teaching of SEA languages. Dr. Ellen Rafferty, Emerita Professor of Indonesian Language and Culture, University of Wisconsin and the Language Director of Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI), ended the second day by giving a keynote address titled “Challenges and Potentials in the field of Southeast Asian Language Teaching: Reflections from SEASSI”. All participants were then invited to the dinner accompanied by live musical performances.

The conference ended on the third day after a sequence of presentations focusing on distance learning, especially Tagalog, Thai and Khmer, and different rounds of reports from six language groups. The representatives from all language groups shared their working goals and showed their commitment to the idea of institutionalizing the professional language organizations.

This was followed by a strategic meeting involving the directors or representatives from 10 different National Southeast Asian Centers. The other participants also included 8 representatives from NON-NRC institutions that offer SEA languages, representatives from different language groups, COTSEAL president, Dr. Juliana Wijaya and SEASSI Director and Language Director, Dr. Mike Cullinane, and Prof. Ellen Rafferty. Included among the participants was Ms. Helena Kolenda from Henry Luce Foundation and Prof. Katherine Bowie, the President of the Association of Asian Studies, who attended the meeting to address issues related to funding and identify areas of collaboration.

Follow this link for photos from the 2017 conference.