Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Registration open for ESL symposium focusing on new laws for bilingual education

photo submitted

From left: Shantel E. Meek, Rep. Megan Godfrey and Susan Ibarra Johnson.

The upcoming U of A Symposium on English as a Second Language will focus on new laws in Arkansas related to bilingual education and dual immersion programming.

The 14th annual event, sponsored by the College of Education and Health Professions, is free and takes place on Saturday, February 26 from 9am to 1pm via Zoom. Speakers include Shantel E. Meek, Megan Godfrey and Susan Ibarra Johnson.

The symposium is titled Landmark Legislation and Arkansas Act 663 Bilingual Education/Dual Immersion: Envisioning Possibilities for Schools, Teachers, and Emergent Bilingual Students with a Translanguaging Lens.

Meek is a professor of practice and founding director of the Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University. Your session will focus on young bilingual learners and, based on the science of brain development and bilingualism, discuss how they should be included and considered in federal, state and local policy and funding decisions to achieve optimal outcomes.

Godfrey is a second representative in the Arkansas House of Representatives. She was a career-long public educator and is pursuing a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the U of A this spring. Godfrey will share key insights from her research and experience as an Arkansas legislator on the policy work that enabled the passage of two pro-immigrant education policies in Arkansas. Educators, policy makers, and curriculum and instruction researchers for English learners can apply these concepts in their work.

Ibarra Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Your session will focus on translating core beliefs and the different entry points to leveraging them in the classroom. She will share videos with three bilingual teachers discussing the use of flexible language with their students. Johnson will also assist attendees in planning a translanguaging space for aspiring bilingual students.

Participants receive a certificate for four hours of professional development and a DESE Assurance number after completing a survey. Registration is required and the deadline is Tuesday 22nd February. To register after February 22, email the U of A registrar at [email protected]

Contact Diana Gonzales Worthen or Alissa Blair of the College of Education and Health Professions for more information about the symposium.

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