Annual Report

Year in Review

This year ACTFL celebrates our 50th year--growing from a small organization spawned by the Modern Language Association in 1967 to the major organization we are today! We are pleased to bring you this report that tells the story of ACTFL's successes in 2016 through important data that reflect our growth in publications, professional development, and OPI certifications. Our story is in our numbers. A record attendance in Boston at the Annual Convention and World Languages Expo marked a special moment in our history as Past Presidents of ACTFL gathered to commemorate our accomplishments. Establishing the ACTFL Center for Assessment, Research, and Development (CARD) was a major step forward to emphasize the value we place on research and its implications for classroom practice. As we look ahead to 2017 language advocacy continues to be a central part of our mission helping to promote language education in the U.S. We want to thank our dedicated Board of Directors and staff, and, of course, our members who open the world to our students and help them become the globally competent citizens of tomorrow.

Desa Dawson


Marty Abbott

Executive Director

2016 ACTFL Governance


Pete Swanson

Past President

Jacque Bott Van Houten


Desiann (Desa) Dawson


Lisa Lilley

At-Large Board Members

Susann Davis
Helga Fasciano
Erin Kearney
Fernando Rubio
Juan Carlos Morales
Aleidine Moeller

Regional Representatives

Lori Winne, CSCTFL
Bill Anderson, NECTFL
Laurel Derksen, PNCFL
Caroline Switzer Kelly, SCOLT
Lynette Fujimori, SWCOLT

2016 Board of Directors

Through the Years


By Robert M. Terry

ACTFL offers a sincere thank you to all the charter members, leadership, members, volunteers, and staff who helped our organization reach this major milestone. We look forward to 50 (and more) additional years working together to collaborate on behalf of language education.

Past President Robert M. Terry, Ph.D., dove deep into the archives to craft a detailed and compelling history. Filled with photos and original documents, A History of ACTFL tells the story of how ACTFL went from an idea to a reality to the premier association for language educators.

CARD Established

In August 2016, the ACTFL Board of Directors established the Center for Assessment, Research and Development (CARD) to facilitate a cohesive focus on ACTFL's endeavors in these areas. CARD's mission is to:

  • Support PK-12 schools and institutions of higher education in areas of assessment and articulation;
  • Develop and maintain high-quality language proficiency assessments;
  • Train, certify and maintain highly reliable testers and raters; to conduct research on proficiency and performance outcomes; and
  • Collaborate with other language organizations and government agencies to support and promote research in the areas of high quality language teaching and learning, including examining implications for teacher education.

ACTFL Research Priorities Initiative Grants

CARD awarded 10 grants to support empirical research aligned with ACTFL's priorities, which include:
  • Integration of Language, Culture, and Content
  • Language Teacher Development
  • Classroom Discourse
  • High-Performing Language Programs
  • Language Use in the Community
  • Research on Practice in K-16 Settings

ACTFL Grant recipients include:

  • Shu-Ling Wu, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Remi A van Compernolle, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Lottie Baker, The George Washington University
  • Todd Hern├índez, Marquette University, Paulo Boero, Belmont University
  • Diego Pascual y Cabo, Texas Tech University
  • Heidy Carruthers, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Christelle Palpacuer Lee, Rutgers Graduate School of Education
  • Rachel Shively, Illinois State University
  • Mahuba Hammad, California State University, San Bernardino
  • Victoria Russell, Valdosta State University

Assessment Metrics

ACTFL saw a 15% increase in the use of its assessments. 496,469 assessments were administered through Language Testing International (LTI) in 2016. Information about specific test administration follows:
Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) 34,489
Computerized Oral Proficiency Interview (OPIc) 218,715
Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) 9,002
Reading Proficiency Test (RPT) 6,315
Listening Proficiency Test (LPT) 2,065
Computer Adaptive Listening and Reading Test (L&Rcat) 258
ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Language (AAPPL) 225,625
Total 496,469

Assessment Programs


ACTFL OPI Languages

  • Albanian
  • Arabic (MSA and Iraqi)
  • Bengali
  • Chinese
  • Danish
  • Dari
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Kazakh
  • Korean
  • Mongolian
  • Norwegian
  • Pashto
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Uzbek

ACTFL also strengthened its ability to serve US government clients by increasing its capability to 120 languages and dialects for Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPIs) assessed using the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) proficiency descriptors. The ILR testing cadre includes over 500 testers.

ASL Project

ACTFL is committed to the development of a Proficiency Interview in American Sign Language (ASL). As a first step, ACTFL has certified 3 testers of ASL and continues to collaborate on the development of a valid testing protocol.


ACTFL-Held Proficiency Workshops


Countries around the world




Proficiency Report

ACTFL Workshops explore proficiency-oriented approaches to language learning, teaching and assessment.


Countries across the globe


4-year colleges and universities


Elementary, Secondary and public school districts


non-profit, educational, and tribal organizations along with language resource centers

New Publication

Enacting the Work of Language Instruction: High-Leverage Teaching Practices

By Eileen W. Glisan and Richard Donato

This new book presents an approach to teacher education and professional development that emphasizes carefully deconstructing fundamental instructional practices that are complex and often not visible through observation, definition, or brief explanation. Its goal is to assist teachers in learning how to enact specific practices, referred to as high-leverage teaching practices, deemed essential to foreign language teaching and situated in theory and research.

Membership at a Glance

"I've been 'hooked' on ACTFL since 2004 when, as a graduate student and teaching assistant, I attended my first convention and experienced the power of our amazing national association of language educators. I am grateful for the myriad opportunities and advice I have received as a member of ACTFL. As I look to the future as a parent of dual-language elementary students and teaching my inaugural heritage speakers course in the fall, I know I will rely on ACTFL to be my guide."

Martha E. Davis, Ph.D.

Professor of Spanish


ACTFL Members

Top 3 Reasons

Members say they are a part of ACTFL/ member benefits

Member of a greater language community
Access to the latest world language news and current events
Access to professional development

Member Roles




Method Instructors

Members' Teaching Levels

Government / Business


Community College




Elementary School


Middle School




High School


Member Locations

Member Career Stages



Early Career


Late Career






New Membership Levels

In July, ACTFL transitioned to new membership levels. These new levels were created to give members a greater ability to choose the benefits that they desire and value most.

All levels of membership still include the same benefits: discounts on publications, professional development, workshops and Convention, full access to the online Community, insurance discounts, one free Special Interest Group (SIG), scholarship opportunities, and more.

The new levels include benefits such as: one additional free SIG, access to all e-books, and two additional print publications, and access to three Virtual Learning Module Series (VLMs) for one year.

Side Scroll to See Full Table >

Social Media Engagement

ACTFL Community

Visit community.actfl.org to join today.


Logins 29% growth from 2015


Posts 120% increase over 2015


Unique Contributors 67% increase over 2015

ACTFL Annual Convention

From November 18-20, 8,538 attendees came together at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for the ACTFL Annual Convention. It was a professional development program tailor-made to appeal to thousands of educators teaching virtually every language and at every level. It was the celebration of ACTFL's 50 years of history as the premier organization representing language educators. It was an occasion marked not merely by record-smashing attendance, with the highest number of attendees by far at any ACTFL Convention.

Futurist Mike Walsh, keynote speaker

"What if the story of disruption was merely the first act of the 21st century?"

Katrina Griffin was selected as the 2017 ACTFL Teacher of the Year

Katrina is a German teacher at North County High School in Glen Burnie, MD, and represented the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL).

"My students have gone from asking why they should learn a language they would likely never use to realizing that if they can reach understanding and solve problems with their fellow classmates, then it is possible for them to do the same with someone on the other side of the world."

At the convention, outstanding contributions to the field of language education were recognized with an award presentation. ACTFL Past-President Jacque Bott Van Houten presented awards to school districts and individuals.

Convention Details


Different Learning Sessions


Preconvention Workshops


Exhibitor Sessions



Attendee Demographics



Total attendance *Largest ACTFL convention ever



First-time attendees


State Advocacy Network



Unique Advocates



Seal of Biliteracy

ACTFL and coalition members successfully advocated in 8 states to establish Seal of Biliteracy programs:

  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Kansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Rhode Island
  • Oregon
  • Arizona

Professional Learning & Curriculum Development




Video Conferences


Language Program Reviews


Professional Development Consultations

ACTFL held workshops in 21 states, and in China and Canada.

ACTFL workshops consistently received top marks. Workshop participants, on average, give our presenters a score of 3.8/4.0

Language Educator's Learning Portal

E-Learning Platform Launched



Registered Users AND GROWING!


Presentations Available On a range of topics


Virtual Learning Modules



CEU Available

Financial Information


Revenue % of Total Revenue
$7,519,917.00 54.06%
$2,186,919.00 15.72%
$1,240,662.00 8.92%
Workshops & Seminars
$1,234,082.00 8.87%
$714,795.00 5.14%
$129,349.00 0.93%
$247,255.00 1.78%
$109,943.00 0.79%
$130,232.00 0.94%
Other Income
$73,751.00 0.53%
$153,525.00 1.10%
$170,000.00 1.22%
Total Revenue: $13,910,430.00 100%


Program Services % of Total Revenue
$5,166,102.00 39.33%
$1,694,897.00 5.04%
$147,136.00 1.12%
$435,572.00 3.32%
$426,079.00 3.24%
$612,203.00 4.66%
Professional Development
$400,926.00 3.05%
Workshop & Certifications
$657,279.00 5.00%
Other Programs
$243,603.00 1.85%
Supporting Services
Management & General
$689,913.00 5.25%
Reserve and Investment
$2,000,000.00 15.23%
Total Expenses: $13,136,257.00 100%


  • Executive Director Marty Abbott
  • Training & Certification Specialist Andrew Amadei
  • Chief Operating Officer Howie Berman
  • Exhibits Manager Casey Bloyer
  • Membership Manager Genevieve Borello
  • Program Coordinator Trey Calvin
  • Marketing & Communications Manager Lisa Campo
  • Assessment Content Specialist Dan Conrad
  • Membership Specialist Regina Farr
  • Associate Director, CARD Leah Graham
  • Chief Financial Officer Zerihun Haile-Selassie
  • Training & Certification Lori Haims
  • Director, CARD Meg Malone
  • Administrative Assistant Michael Pereira
  • Program Assistant Deise Nassinhack
  • Staff Accountant Jacquelyn O'Brien-Withers
  • Manager, ILR Tester Program Yesenia Olivares
  • Director of Conventions & Marketing Julia Richardson
  • Project Coordinator Julia Ruane
  • Director of Education Paul Sandrock
  • Technology Manager Tony Smith
  • Senior Manager, Contracts & QA Danielle Tezcan
  • Office Manager Candace Thompson
  • Multimedia Coordinator Tony Unander
  • Special Projects Coordinator Erin Whelchel
  • Meetings Manager Courtney Wu


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