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MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION IS FOCUS OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Teachers College Event Convenes Scholars to Advocate for Multilingualism in Schools

For immediate release:
September  23, 2004

Contact: Deirdre Reznik
212-678-4147
reznik@tc.columbia.edu

NEW YORK, NY -- Scholars, teachers and policy experts from 22 countries will gather in New York City from September 30 to October 2 to probe an issue of growing concern in New York City and worldwide: the role of schools in multilingual societies. Titled "Imagining Multilingual Schools," the gathering will present alternatives-and advocate for change-in the way American public schools educate multilingual students and how our society views multilingualism.

"In New York City, a great number of students come from multilingual environments. Schools, however, are increasingly offering a monolingual learning environment. We will be addressing the disconnect between these two different realities," says conference co-chair Ofelia García, Professor of Bilingual Education at Teachers College and co-director of the College's Center for Multiple Language and Literacies. "Multilingualism is a great asset to our society as well as an individual right within the context of schools and classrooms. Moreover, it is becoming the norm internationally. Our goal is to change the way we view multilingualism and to share evidence from the lessons learned around the world that can influence policy in New York and abroad."

Among the speakers at the event are:

Nancy Hornberger, Professor of Education and Director of Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania.  In a year that marks the anniversaries of two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming the right to equal educational opportunity-Brown v. Board of Education and Lau v. Nicholas-Hornberger will assess the nation's success in fulfilling the mandate of each ruling.  <nancyh@gsc.upenn.edu>

Guadalupe Valdés, Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor Education at Stanford University. An expert on the English-Spanish bilingualism of Latinos in the United States, Valdés will discuss multilingual schooling in borderlands as a model for  linguistic transnationalism. <gvaldes@stanford.edu>

Elana Shohamy, Professor of Language Education at the School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Israel.  A leading researcher on the political and social implications of suppressing multilingualism, Shohamy has studied the teaching of Arabic in Israeli schools as a tool for co-existence.  <elana@post.tau.ac.il>

Teresa McCarty, Alice Wiley Snell Professor of Educational Policy Studies at Arizona State University and editor of Anthropology and Education Quarterly. A leading researcher on Native American education and minority language rights, McCarty will discuss the impact of globalization on the world's "smaller" languages, including the danger that, as they fall silent, the human knowledge these languages encode will be lost forever. In particular, McCarty will address reclaiming multilingual America through indigenous language education. <tmccarty@email.arizona.edu>

Viv Edwards, Editor of the international journal Language and Education and a Professor of Language in Education at the University of Reading, U.K. An expert in the area of learning and teaching in multilingual classrooms, Edwards has shown that adolescents born to first-generation immigrants typically speak their parents' language less frequently as they get older, highlighting a clear division between their school and social lives.  <v.k.edwards@reading.ac.uk>

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, of the University of Roskilde, Denmark, and Åbo Akadmi University, Vasa, Finland. A leader in the field of linguistic human rights, Skutnabb-Kangas will look at how societies with linguistic majorities penalize themselves when they perpetuate monolingualism in their educational systems. <skutnabb-kangas@mail.dk>

The conference is chaired by Teachers College Professors Ofelia García and María Torres-Guzmán. Organizers include the Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, The Center for Multiple Language and Literacies, The Department of International and Transcultural Studies, the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation at Teachers College, Columbia University.

The conference Web site is: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/ceoi/languagesymposium.html

Teachers College is the largest graduate school of education in the nation.  It is affiliated with Columbia University, but is legally and financially independent.  The editors of U.S. News and World Report have ranked Teachers College as one of the leading graduate schools of education in the country.  For more information about Teachers College, please visit our Web site at http://www.tc.columbia.edu.

Published Wednesday, Sep. 29, 2004

MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION IS FOCUS OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

For immediate release:
September  23, 2004

Contact: Deirdre Reznik
212-678-4147
reznik@tc.columbia.edu

NEW YORK, NY -- Scholars, teachers and policy experts from 22 countries will gather in New York City from September 30 to October 2 to probe an issue of growing concern in New York City and worldwide: the role of schools in multilingual societies. Titled "Imagining Multilingual Schools," the gathering will present alternatives-and advocate for change-in the way American public schools educate multilingual students and how our society views multilingualism.

"In New York City, a great number of students come from multilingual environments. Schools, however, are increasingly offering a monolingual learning environment. We will be addressing the disconnect between these two different realities," says conference co-chair Ofelia García, Professor of Bilingual Education at Teachers College and co-director of the College's Center for Multiple Language and Literacies. "Multilingualism is a great asset to our society as well as an individual right within the context of schools and classrooms. Moreover, it is becoming the norm internationally. Our goal is to change the way we view multilingualism and to share evidence from the lessons learned around the world that can influence policy in New York and abroad."

Among the speakers at the event are:

Nancy Hornberger, Professor of Education and Director of Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania.  In a year that marks the anniversaries of two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming the right to equal educational opportunity-Brown v. Board of Education and Lau v. Nicholas-Hornberger will assess the nation's success in fulfilling the mandate of each ruling.  <nancyh@gsc.upenn.edu>

Guadalupe Valdés, Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor Education at Stanford University. An expert on the English-Spanish bilingualism of Latinos in the United States, Valdés will discuss multilingual schooling in borderlands as a model for  linguistic transnationalism. <gvaldes@stanford.edu>

Elana Shohamy, Professor of Language Education at the School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Israel.  A leading researcher on the political and social implications of suppressing multilingualism, Shohamy has studied the teaching of Arabic in Israeli schools as a tool for co-existence.  <elana@post.tau.ac.il>

Teresa McCarty, Alice Wiley Snell Professor of Educational Policy Studies at Arizona State University and editor of Anthropology and Education Quarterly. A leading researcher on Native American education and minority language rights, McCarty will discuss the impact of globalization on the world's "smaller" languages, including the danger that, as they fall silent, the human knowledge these languages encode will be lost forever. In particular, McCarty will address reclaiming multilingual America through indigenous language education. <tmccarty@email.arizona.edu>

Viv Edwards, Editor of the international journal Language and Education and a Professor of Language in Education at the University of Reading, U.K. An expert in the area of learning and teaching in multilingual classrooms, Edwards has shown that adolescents born to first-generation immigrants typically speak their parents' language less frequently as they get older, highlighting a clear division between their school and social lives.  <v.k.edwards@reading.ac.uk>

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, of the University of Roskilde, Denmark, and Åbo Akadmi University, Vasa, Finland. A leader in the field of linguistic human rights, Skutnabb-Kangas will look at how societies with linguistic majorities penalize themselves when they perpetuate monolingualism in their educational systems. <skutnabb-kangas@mail.dk>

The conference is chaired by Teachers College Professors Ofelia García and María Torres-Guzmán. Organizers include the Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, The Center for Multiple Language and Literacies, The Department of International and Transcultural Studies, the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation at Teachers College, Columbia University.

The conference Web site is: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/ceoi/languagesymposium.html

Teachers College is the largest graduate school of education in the nation.  It is affiliated with Columbia University, but is legally and financially independent.  The editors of U.S. News and World Report have ranked Teachers College as one of the leading graduate schools of education in the country.  For more information about Teachers College, please visit our Web site at http://www.tc.columbia.edu.

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