Scholars from Ontario and Spain to present at series on language learning

York International and the Faculty of Education will host an international speaker series, Sept. 19 – 21. Titled “Action Research and Policy for Language Learning in Diverse Urban Contexts”, the three-day event will provide an international exchange for dialogue on applied linguistic action research that is focused on inclusive educational policies and strategies for a multilingual and multicultural demographic.

Presentations will take place at 9:30am and 2pm in room 122, Stong College. A collaboration between York University and the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, the series will feature scholars from both Ontario and Spain including:

  • Luisa Martín Rojo, professor of linguistics at the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid, Spain). Her research draws on sociolinguistic studies of the diversity of languages as well as pragmatic studies of communication and discourse analysis. Her current work is focused on two major areas: the study of sexism, social discrimination and gender identity, and the study of the management of cultural and linguistic diversity in Madrid schools and its underlying ideologies.

  • Sandra Schecter, professor of education and applied linguistics at York University. An ethnolinguist, she conducts research on language education, language socialization, and language planning in the context of bi- and multi-lingual societies. Her publications include: Language as cultural practice: Mexicanos en el norte (2002) and the co-edited volume, Multilingual education in practice: Using diversity as a resource (2003).

  • John Ippolito teaches foundations of education in the Faculty of Education at York University. His research and teaching interests focus on educational practices for linguistically and culturally diverse students and their families. He is currently project director for Parent Involvement AS Education, a multi-year action research literacy study.

  • Elizabeth Coelho is the author of several resource books for teachers, including Adding English (2004), Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Classrooms (1998) and Learning Together in the Multicultural Classroom (1994). She also provides workshops for teachers, and is a frequent presenter at local, national and international conferences. Her expertise includes content-based language instruction, multicultural/antiracist education, and cooperative learning. She is currently working in the Literacy & Numeracy Secretariat of the Ontario Ministry of Education.

  • Heather Lotherington, professor of multilingual education at York University, and former co-editor of the Canadian Modern Language Review. Her research is focused on multiliteracies, exploring new directions in literacy that incorporate multiculturalism, multilingualism and multimodalism. Her current research project “Rewriting Goldilocks”, is designed to make the story of Goldilocks more inclusive of contemporary social diversity by guiding children into the story as co-authors.

  • Monica Heller is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies and the Centre de recherches en éducation francoontarienne of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the construction of social difference and social inequality, with a focus on francophone Canada and its transformations under current conditions of social change.

  • Jim Cummins teaches in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. His research has focused on the education of bilingual students and the possibilities and pitfalls of technology in education. Cummins has written and presented many works on second language learning and literacy development. He works on language development and literacy development of learners of English as an additional language.

For more information and a schedule of presentations, visit the Faculty of Education Web site. Faculty who wish to bring their classes to the colloquium should RSVP to Tove Fynbo, coordinator of international education, Faculty of Education, at ext. 20052 or e-mail