Last Wednesday, December 8th, the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants cohort of 2010-2011 gathered in Washington, DC for the annual mid-year conference. The FLTAs brought great enthusiasm to the event designed for professional development and FLTA networking. IIE was pleased to welcome distinguished speakers who provided insight into innovative teaching techniques, classroom management, intercultural communication, student video projects, powerful presentations and time management. During the conference, more than 45 FLTAs gave presentations, sharing their first semester experiences and successful teaching techniques with their peers. Highlights included the poster show where FLTAs presented traditional calligraphy, food, instruments, singing and dancing, and the international talent show where FLTAs from 13 different countries performed traditional dances and songs.
On Thursday, December 9th, the group was privileged to travel to the U.S. Department of State where they had an extremely exciting afternoon. The Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ann Stock, interviewed a panel of six FLTAs from distinct world regions about their time living in the U.S. on the FLTA program. Prior to the panel, she had invited six other FLTAs from different world regions to join her for tea after they had “tweeted” comments and questions for her earlier in the week. Perhaps the most inspiring moment was when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the FLTAs. She not only shared anecdotes about Senator Fulbright and the Fulbrighters she meets while traveling on behalf of the State Department, but also directly thanked the grantees for their current work and their commitment to the tenets of the Fulbright program. You can watch or read Secretary Clinton's full remarks here.