Last weekend, I participated at the 6th International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education: Connecting Research and Practice Across Contexts organized by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The CARLA conference was an impressive gathering of bilingual and immersion educators in Minneapolis. Patricia C. Gándara, Research Professor of Education, UCLA, spoke about the labor market advantage to bilingualism in the United States. Dr. Myrian (Mimi) Met presented an international panel on bilingual and immersion education in the United States, with speakers from Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Estonia, Finland, and Spain.
I was fascinated by a panel on indigenous language immersion presented by Teresa L. McCarty, Professor of Education and Anthropology, UCLA, “Indigenous Revitalization-Immersion and the Home-School-Community Connection—Research and Praxis Across Contexts.” Speakers of Dakhóta, Ojibwe, Hawaiian, Noqayku discussed language revival, generational transfer, identity, and the sacredness of language.
I presented a seminar on the different types of French dual language and immersion programs in the United States with Karl Cogard, Head of Educational Affairs at the Embassy of France: “The State of French Bilingual Education in the United States.”
French dual language and immersion programs in the U.S. take on many shapes and forms to answer the needs of the community. The two dominant trends in program creation are state-led initiatives and grassroots initiatives. This presentation featured recent initiatives undertaken in French immersion and bilingual programs across the nation.