CLS Program News

Teaching Arabic in Utah: Christina Cannon

Christina Cannon (CLS 2014 Arabic) is an Arabic teacher at the high school level in Utah. The CLS Alumni Development Fund helped her attend the annual convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in San Antonio.

At the conference, Christina was able to learn from fellow language teachers, including other Arabic instructors. She also presented a session “90% Target Language: Yes, You Can!” focusing on maximizing use of the target language while keeping students engaged and able to follow the lesson. Christina also served as a facilitator for a separate session specifically for Arabic teachers to share ideas.

After returning to Utah, Christina was able to share lessons and best practices from the ACTFL Conference at a meeting of the Utah Arabic Teachers’ Association.


The Alumni Development Fund in 2014 awarded funding to 65 alumni from the 2014 cohort who submitted proposals for activities to assist with their continued language learning and/or professional academic development. Priority was given to applications that incorporated or explained how their activity would have a wider impact on others (e.g. students, CLS alumni, community).

2014 ADF projects covered a wide scope of topics and activities. Some projects focused on improving the awardee’s CLS language skills in order to indirectly affect the public through the creation of language materials, improving one’s effectiveness at their workplace, and sharing their research and CLS experience at national conferences. Other projects directly impacted others, for example through the creation of an international pen-pal exchange, language tables at universities, and community events highlighting their host languages and cultures.