This past weekend, I attended the Southwest Conference of Language Teaching (SWCOLT) in Norman, OK, and boy, was I surprised (and excited) to see the overwhelming interest in Chinese language education for these states! The conference attracted attendees from a handful of southwestern states (OK, TX, UT, NM, CO) and also western states such as CA, NV, AZ, HI, and AK. Better Chinese was the only exhibitor dedicated to Chinese language publishing at the conference, and we had teachers and administrators from this pocket of the nation stop by our booth with interest and excitement for Chinese learning. In 2008, Better Chinese K-12 curriculum was reviewed and adopted by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. (View a detailed of a list of approved Chinese language materials here). It was wonderful to hear from teachers and professors how many programs are sprouting up in Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, Texas and a few in New Mexico. I believe the value in attending this conferences is not only to attend sessions and check out new materials, but more importantly, to network with other educators. Teachers teaching in states that are just starting to develop Chinese programs may feel isolated and a lack of support, so it was great to hear teachers talk about their programs and share teaching strategies! What conferences are you planning on attending in the upcoming months? Better Chinese will be at the National Chinese Language Conference at the end of April/early May. See you there!