FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who can join the AATF?
Anyone over the age of 18 interested in the teaching of French can join the Association. We have a number of membership categories to apply to most situations.
Are AATF dues prorated if you join over the summer?
We do not have a system for prorating dues. Membership dues are on the calendar year (January through December). When a member joins in the summer, for example, we mail them all the publications they have missed starting with the preceding January. New members who join mid-year may select the fall issues option; for an additional $20 they receive the issues of the National Bulletin and French Review starting in September, and their actual membership begins the following January. Membership payments received after Labor Day are automatically applied to the upcoming calendar year unless the member specifically states otherwise.
Does the AATF offer school memberships?
No, we only have individual memberships. If only one teacher in a school joins, the membership applies only to him or her or to his or her students (for purposes of Grand Concours registration, for example). Similarly, we cannot automatically transfer membership from one teacher to a replacement when there is a change in staff.
Is there a joint AATF/AATSP membership?
For several years, the AATF and AATG offered a joint membership. However, joint memberships require a tremendous amount of time and effort to coordinate, and we were forced to discontinue it. We simply do not have the personnel resources to offer a joint membership at this time.
Why are dues so expensive?
We feel that the $55 AATF membership fee is very reasonable and lower than most other professional associations. For this amount, members receive 12 publications (4 issues of the National Bulletin, 6 issues of the French Review, 2 issues of the National French Contest newsletter), can obtain a variety of promotional and pedagogical materials at or below cost, and in recent years have received an extra issue of the National Bulletin devoted to National French Week as well as full-size color posters. The membership dues allow us to offer over $15,000 per year in scholarships and small grants, to maintain an award-winning Web site, and to sponsor the work of our National Commissions in addition to many other services. We feel that this is great value and compares favorably with the dues levied by other professional associations.
Why is National French Week held in November rather than in March along with the Journée/Semaine de la Francophonie?
When National French Week was first envisioned, it was intended to be a week devoted to showcasing French, taking it out of the classroom. It was also hoped that the increased attention focused on teaching and learning French would help increase retention and enrollment in French classes by showing potential students and their parents that French was still a worthwhile language to learn. Unfortunately, March is not a good time to organize a new national event. First of all, it is the month of the Grand Concours and few teachers would have the time or energy to participate in both. Secondly, someone somewhere in the U.S. is on spring break during one of the weeks of March. And finally, many schools hold fall registration beginning in January. No date is perfect, and there will always be conflicts with local festivities, sports events, or exams. The important thing is to promote French at any opportunity. If you decide to celebrate National French Week at another time of year, that is fine, but remember that there is strength in numbers.
Why isn't the National Bulletin available on-line or via e-mail?
We occasionally have a request to make the National Bulletin available electronically. However, the demand is simply not great enough to make it feasible at this time. In general, members like having the hard copy to carry around with them and refer to. Also, since not all of our members have e-mail, we would still have to do a paper copy. However, information from the National Bulletin that is particularly useful for National French Week or Classroom Activities is posted on the National French Week part of the Web site.
Why doesn't the AATF have a listserv/blog/Facebook page?
The AATF launched a Facebook page AATFrench in January 2010 and a Twitter account AATFrench during fall 2009. Each of these means of communcations can fill an important role in communicating information to members in a timely fashion. Their creation and maintenance requires an important time commitment. If anyone would like to work on developing such a feature, they should contact the AATF Telematics Commission.
Why don't I receive any publications over the summer?
AATF publications are mailed on an irregular basis with the National Bulletin appearing in September, November, January, and April and the French Review appearing in October, December, February, March, April, and May. Nothing is published over the summer.
I have been receiving unsolicited e-mail? How did they get my address?
The AATF never releases members' e-mail addresses for any commercial use. We occasionally provide e-mail addresses to the French Cultural Services for a one-time purpose of mailing information to French teachers. We may also send a blanket e-mail message to our members with an important reminder. However, if you received unsolicited e-mail from other sources, they did not get the address from us.
Does the AATF endorse products or programs?
The AATF does not endorse any products or programs. We do not have the personnel resources to evaluate individual products, programs, travel companies, etc. Many companies support the work of the AATF by exhibiting at our conventions and advertising in our publications. We try to highlight this companies whenever possible in exchange for their support. However, the AATF makes no guaranties regarding these products or services. Any other companies or organizations that use the name of the AATF, particularly in e-mail message, are doing so without our authorization, and we would appreciate knowing about it.
Created: January 23, 2001
Last update: November 10, 2012