Conference: Challenges and achievements in community language schools

I’m working with the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA to organize a conference on community language schools on April 13. The conference is free and open to the public, and will have presentations from both academics and community school community members. If you’re interested in presenting, please let me know!

Challenges and achievements in community language schools

A conference sponsored by the UCLA National Heritage Language Resource Center. Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:30am – 4:30pm in the Young Research Library Conference Room. Open to the public.

Registration is now open, and is free

Many migrant communities in the United States have set up extracurricular schools and programs to teach students their heritage language. As a primary immigrant gateway to the US, Los Angeles has schools teaching languages from all over the world: Armenian to Russian, Chinese to Bengali. All of these schools face similar challenges: How can they encourage heritage language maintenance in a society that is hostile to immigrant multilingualism? How do they find appropriate materials and train teachers in effective pedagogy? How can they run a school with a staff that consists mostly or entirely of volunteers?

This conference, organized by the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA, will bring together teachers, administrators, and parents at community language schools as well as academics to try to find answers to these questions. It will include presentations from researchers investigating different aspects of community language schools and a panel of administrators and teachers sharing best practices and seeking solutions to common problems. The NHLRC hopes that this conference will spark dialogue about how community language schools can work together and with outside institutions to advance the goal of heritage language development.