Annual Bilingual and Diverse Teachers Conference

Annual Bilingual and Diverse Teachers Conference

On Saturday, May 20th, the College of Education held its Annual Bilingual and Diverse Teachers Conference.

The event took place from 8:30am to 2:30pm in the RWEC. The conference began with refreshments, welcome speeches, and introductions. Following introductions, keynote speaker Dr. Yuliana Kenfield gave a powerful speech on collaborating with students and families as allies. Dr. Yuliana discussed ways to promote visions for practices to reaffirm multilingual and multicultural identity of students and their families, countering the practices rooted in deficit views towards diverse populations. She also called for educators to engage in critical dialogues with the caretakers of our students, so we can learn and unlearn with each other. 

After the influential keynote, students participated in four different breakout sessions. The first breakout session, Exploring Best Practices for Instruction in the Dual Language Classroom, was led by Monique Aguilar-Weaver, a Dual Language Program Associate for Salem-Keizer School District. Participants learned about innovative practices for the dual classroom through interactive and collaborative activities. Charcy Ramos, first grade bilingual teacher at Hallman Elementary School discussed strategies to implement in the classroom to explore literature in an authentic and relevant way in bilingual and dual-language classrooms.

Another breakout session, led by Lory Cruz-Esquivel, an ELD teacher at North Salem High School, described strategies for linking students’ background knowledge and culture to learning. During this breakout session, students learned about connecting students’ background knowledge and culture to the activities they are expected to perform in class, which helps them access the content they must learn in their academic disciplines. The final session focused on developing skilled readers through language comprehension. Sharlee Blackwell, a teacher on special assignment at Chavez Elementary School led the discussion. During the interactive workshop, participants explored ways to strategically plan for student experiences in language comprehension through Oracy.

Once students took a lunch break, panel speakers Kim Lemus, Charcy Ramos, Crystal Maciel Maciel, Rodolfo Perez, Loreli Estrada, Isabel Martinez, Diana Huerta shared wisdom and experience as Project PROMISE mentors and mentees. 

Dr.Maria Dantas-Whitney wanted to give a shout out to everyone who attended and participated in the wonderful collaborative community of like-minded educators committed to sustainable practices in multicultural and multilingual education!

For more information about the Bilingual and Diverse Teacher Scholars Program, please go to:

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