37th Annual Bilingual Conference

37th Annual Bilingual Conference

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By: Leslie Villeda

Texas A&M University Kingsville will host the 37th Annual Bilingual Conference Sept. 15 – 16 in the Memorial Student Union Building (MSUB) in Banquet rooms A and B.

The conference has been held “since the inception of the bilingual doctorate program,” according to Dr. Patricia Gomez, co-chair for the event and Assistant professor and graduate coordinator at Texas A&M University Kingsville. The theme of the conference is “Cultural and Linguistic Enrichment Through Dual Language Programs.”

This conference will feature guest speakers emphasizing the importance of bilingual teaching methods and programs.

“The purpose is to expose current practitioners who are practicing bilingual education new methodology, research, strategies and approaches to objectively teach students in two languages,” said Gomez.

According to Gomez, there are three different strands to a successful dual language program. The first is current administrators who are trying to maintain and create the right team to keep the program in place, teachers who need to learn about the teaching methods that have been proven to work, and parental engagement, which includes those parents who are also learning the language along with their children.

The main goal of dual language program was designed to make students “bilingual and bi-literate,” she said.

Josefina Villamil Tinajero, who wrote “The Power of Two Languages: Literacy and Bi-literacy for Spanish-speaking Students,” will be a guest speaker at the conference.

“We are so honored to have her come back to her alma mater to deliver a presentation that will encourage and support the learning of two languages,” Gomez said.

The conference is open to those who are interested and wish to attend there is not a cut-off point to sign up. For more information contact (361) 593-2871.