MERCED, CA — Few educational issues are more challenging — or scrutinized more closely — than those surrounding the policies and teaching of English as a second language and bilingual education. The Yosemite Chapter of California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL) continues its important work in this arena with a conference on "English Learners: Meeting the Challenge" on October 11, 2003 in Modesto.
Offering a setting for collaboration on matters related to English language learners and sharing new strategies to help these students succeed, the conference is open to all school staff members from K-12, college, university, adult and intensive-English program settings.
Kenji Hakuta, Founding Dean of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts from the University of California, Merced, will be the keynote speaker. Nationally recognized for his research on bilingualism and the psychology of second-language learning, Hakuta is equally well known for his work in education policy and equal educational access for minority students.
For the conference, Hakuta has chosen to discuss the policy history and research that led to the Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certification and its effectiveness in meeting the educational needs of English language learners. "Reflections on CLAD Certification: Historical Theoretical and Practical Perspectives" is the title of his presentation.
A pair of breakout sessions will allow conference participants to choose from a diverse selection of workshops, including such topics as family literacy, software for English learners, English as a Second Language instruction in the workplace, accountability anxiety for K-12 educators, writing strategies for English learners, and useful Internet sites for grammar and writing at the college and adult school levels. Also featured will be exhibits from such publishers as Oxford University Press, Pearson/Longman, Heinle/Thomson, and Hampton Brown.
Founded in 1969, CATESOL promotes professional competence and professional standards in the teaching of English to non-native speakers, monitors educational policy, and represents the needs of ESL teachers and students to decision-making bodies such as school districts and state legislatures.
The Yosemite chapter, comprised of Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Alpine counties, was established in November 2002.
UC Merced, the nation's first major research university to be built in the 21st century, is scheduled to open in fall 2005 with 1,000 students and grow over the coming decades to serve a student population of 25,000. With a special mission to serve the San Joaquin Valley, UC Merced already offers a concurrent admissions program with three Valley community colleges, UC summer courses, and a variety of educational services at centers throughout the region.
The CATESOL Yosemite Chapter Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 11, 2003 in Forum Building 110 and Founders Hall at the East Campus of Modesto Junior College.
For those who sign up by the pre-registration deadline of September 25, the cost is $15 for CATESOL members and $20 for non-members. On-site registration also is available from 8 to 9 a.m. for $20. Lunch will be provided only to those who pre-register by the deadline. To obtain further details and registration materials, please contact Keith Peterson at (209) 551-3245 or by e-mail at