The Council on Language Instruction (CLI) was informally established in 1990, when a group of language instructors from various departments began to meet regularly. The goal of these informal meetings was to create a forum where ideas for improving language instruction and the professional situation of language instructors could be shared easily across departments.
One of the first tasks council members undertook was the sharing of information on lecturers’ appointments including salary levels, faced with a perceived inequality between departments and appointments.
The council was officially recognized in 1995 as a standing committee by the college and given a modest fund ($2000) to be spent at the discretion of the council.
Since then, communication with administrators and across campus has increased, the funds allotted to the CLI for to support professional development and relevant activities have multiplied, and each year, council members work on specific projects furthering the goals of the council.
Among the events that the council organizes annually are fall orientation meetings and workshops for language teaching faculty, quarterly breakfast meetings, seminars, and talks dealing with the newest research on second language acquisition and with applied matters in language teaching. In the spring, the annual two-day Language Symposium brings together language instructors from an increasing number of area colleges and schools.
The members of the CLI are comprised of representatives from seven departments at Northwestern University. The council regularly elects officers and organizes subcommittees as needed. Please consult the information under membership for more information.