Educators Explore the Global Influence of African, Creole and African American Languages
- See Co-Chairs & Alumni
Biographical Information of the symposium's co-chairs and alumni.
Young people around the world have adopted Hip Hop culture-'"rap music, baggy clothes, graffiti and dance-'"and its variation of language and style into their own experiences. As the popularity of Hip Hop spreads, mainstream culture embraces it as far as it is profitable and rejects it based on its association with violence and misogyny. Standard American education practice, under the pressure of high stakes testing, not only ignores its existence, but denies it as a legitimate influence on classroom practice and educational policy. At the same time, in
An International Symposium on African and Diasporic Languages and Education at Teachers College's Cowin Center October 5-7, brings together international experts who will discuss the educational concerns of incorporating language variations and the political consequences they can have on policy, development and education.
"The conference involves a tremendous amount of diversity," said Associate Professor JoAnne Kleifgen, Co-Chair of the Symposium with Professor George Bond "We are trying to think more globally because of the movement of people and languages, whose influence is going in both directions-'"coming to
The three-day symposium highlights a different language group each day. It begins with an exploration of the cultural, historical and linguistic roots of African language in education, policy and planning in Africa and in the
"There is College-wide participation in the conference with students from a variety of departments on the planning committee," Professor Bond said. Faculty and alumni are also participating with support from the Dean's Office and the Office of Community and Diversity. Teachers College, he added, has "carried the flag" for the study of language and literacy after the closing of
Teachers College alumnus Jon Yasin, a Professor of English, Linguistics and Religion at
Each day, a different alumnus from Teachers College will be among the presenters. Along with Yasin, they include Shondel Nero, native of Guyana and currently an Associate Professor of TESOL in the School of Education at St. John's University in NY; Peter Mtesigwa, Principal Language Research Officer at the National Kiswahili Council of Tanzania; Ellen M. Schnepel, Senior Research Associate at CIFAS in New York City and principal of Schnepel Consulting; and Kate Parry, Professor in the Department of English at Hunger College who spends four months a year in Uganda working on various literacy projects. Additionally, Parry will present Professor Emeritus Clifford Hill with an award for his many years of leadership, inspiration and achievements as educator and researcher in the languages of
The symposium can be attended for credit or non-credit, with a special rate for Teachers College alumni and for K-12 educators. A parallel for-credit course is also available in conjunction with the symposium. Details can be found at http://continuingeducation.tc.columbia.edu under "Continuing Education."previous page