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CFP: Fifth Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching

2015 Robert G. Mead Distinguished Leadership Award

The AATSP Robert G. Mead, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award is given to an AATSP member in recognition of outstanding leadership within in the profession as a whole and of scholarly contributions to the profession.


The 2015 recipient of the Robert G. Mead Distinguished Leadership Award is Bill VanPatten from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI

For nearly three decades Bill VanPatten’s name has been associated with outstanding leadership in effective language instruction and significant scholarly contributions to the field of second language acquisition (SLA) theory and the language sciences in general. It is no exaggeration to state that tens of thousands of language students improved their Spanish language proficiency using his famous telenovela Destinos as well as his other Spanish textbooks that incorporated research findings and theoretical advancements in SLA within the instructional materials. In addition to his research, Bill has also shown outstanding leadership within language program direction and the mentorship of other SLA researchers and L2 instructors. He has directed numerous doctoral dissertations and masters theses and has trained language instructors at workshops within the US and internationally. In addition, Bill works to involve educators and researchers in projects that will benefit the field.  A colleague explained that Bill "…inspires others to lead” by putting in the effort himself and then motivating others to do the same.  Another colleague stated that what makes Bill VanPatten so deserving of this award is not simply his contribution to the field, which is significant, but the influence that his contributions continue to have on others.  

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