November 21, 2014 | Persian

ACTFL Language Conference!

I've just arrived in downtown San Antonio, which is overrun with marauding gangs of foreign-language teachers.

Over the past two months, I have spent a ton of time on language, but hardly any time writing about language. Oops. Blogs don’t really work if you don’t write.

So anyway, I am back.

En Route to Newark Airport Today

En Route to Newark Airport Today

Let me get down to business right away and say that I am trying to decide what to do about Persian. I feel a need to move on to other languages, yet I love Persian and also feel a need to finish my Persian books. I will decide what to do this weekend, while at the ACTFL Annual Convention & World Language Expo in San Antonio, Texas, which is where this is being typed.

ACTFL stands for American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Apparently the acronym is pronounced ACT-full

I am severely excited, because tomorrow morning I am going to see a ginormous cavernous space filled to the brim with language books. I have never seen such a thing in my life. I should bring smelling salts.

I would like to summarize the events of the past two months very briefly: I have been helping plan the Polyglot Conference NYC 2015 (details to be announced very soon), doing a ton of teaching (of business writing and grammar), spending a lot of time talking about language on social media (which I confess I enjoy tremendously and get great ideas from), and taking tourists who don’t speak English around New York City in order to practice my language skills. That last thing, as I have mentioned before, is a volunteer gig through Big Apple Greeter.

I am also dedicating a great deal of time to not exercising. For that reason, I had to buy emergency pants for this conference. I hate buying emergency pants. It is so ungratifying. I intend to reform myself when I return to New York City.

Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy language energy. That’s the formula! 

Comments (2)

Gareth Popkins • Posted on Sat, November 29, 2014 - 11:31 am EST

The ACTFL conference sounds enticing, Ellen.  I hope you’re going update us on how it went.  Could you ever see yourself teaching one of your foreign languages? 
On the subject of moving on from Persian, are you generally applying the same framework to each language you learn as part of your project?  Is it to see how far you can get in two or three months and then move on regardless, but doubling back later for your Review Periods?

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Fri, January 09, 2015 - 8:54 pm EST

Gareth, thank you so much for your post! No, I do not see myself teaching a foreign language in the future, but who knows what life will bring?

In answer to your second and third questions, I am at present contemplating my brain situation. You summarized accurately what I am doing, but the number of hours a day I can devote to language study has declined since the early years. I am sorting through my current language-related obligations to figure out how to balance it all a little better, because it feels as though I am…overeating or something. ;)

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