Dr. Constance Knop (emerita, University of Wisconsin, Madison) was a close friend of our 14 Founders and served on the team that organized the first conference. In her remarks on the occasion of CSCTFL’s 50th anniversary, Dr. Knop reminded us that the Central States Modern Language Association was formed in 1896. That organization was linked closely to the national Modern Language Association and its annual meeting consisted primarily of learned papers being read, primarily about literature and some on culture. Its members were mostly college and university teachers and the topics reflected their interests.
In the mid-1960s, a group of 14 visionary language professionals -- our Founders -- recognized that language instructors would both appreciate, and benefit from, opportunities to share professional best practices that focused not on literary topics but on the theory and practice of world language teaching and learning. Our Founders included: Jermaine Arendt (MN), Jacqueline Elliott (TN), Percy Fearing (MN), Anthony Gradisnik (WI), Frank Grittner (WI), Gilbert Kettlekamp (IL), Charles Kirk (OH), Wallace Magoon (IN), Barbara Ort (MI), J. Henry Owens (MI), Richard Payne (MO), J. Thomas Shaw (WI), Lorraine Strasheim (IN) and Albert Turner (IL).