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Virtual SYMPOSIUM 2022

​​Celebrating Biliteracy: Realizing a Better Future for Our Spanish Speakers

Thursday, May 19, 2022 | 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (EDT)

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Join us for a free virtual symposium, Celebrating Biliteracy: Realizing a Better Future for Our Spanish Speakers, on May 19, 2022.

At this interactive event, you'll discover evidence-based ways to honor the unique skills, strengths, and needs your English language learners bring to the classroom, as well as how to accelerate their literacy skills with Science of Reading-aligned strategies. Certificates of attendance will be awarded.

While this interactive event has a special focus on Spanish speakers, our largest and fastest-growing population of English language learners, the sessions are designed for you to walk away with Science of Reading-aligned strategies for supporting all of your English language learners.

Featured speakers:

Kajal Patel Below Headshot

Kajal Patel Below

VP, Spanish Solutions, Amplify
Keynote speaker
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Dr. Pedro Noguera

Dean, USC Rossier School of Education

Dr. Lillian Durán

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Education, University of Oregon

Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan

President, Valley Speech Language and Learning Center
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Dr. Ashley Sanabria

Assistant Professor, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Department, San Diego State University
Sandra Mercuri_Headshot-modified

Dr. Sandra Mercuri

Assistant Professor, Bilingual Education and Biliteracy, The University of Texas
Vivian Pratts_Headshot-modified

Vivian Pratts

Bilingual Educational Consultant at VP Dual Language/Biliteracy/ESL Consulting

Dr. Desirée Pallais-Downing

Assistant Professor, Bilingual/Bicultural Program, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Doris Baker

Associate Professor, Department of Special Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin

Session topics and speakers:

Time (EDT) Session Speaker
11:00–11:10 Welcome & Introduction Kajal Patel Below
VP, Spanish Solutions, Amplify
11:10–11:55 Keynote: The Equity Imperative: Creating the Schools We Need Now Dr. Pedro Noguera
Dean, USC Rossier School of Education
11:55–12:00
Break  
12:00–12:50 The Power of Dual Language Assessment Dr. Lillian Durán
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Education, University of Oregon
12:50–1:00
Break  
1:00–1:50 Strengths-Based Reading Centers to Empower Spanish Speakers Dr. Desirée Pallais-Downing
Assistant Professor, Bilingual/Bicultural Program, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin
1:00–1:50 Biliteracy: Considerations for Children with Developmental Language Disorder Dr. Ashley Sanabria
Assistant Professor, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Department, San Diego State University
1:50–2:00
Break  
2:00–2:50 Educator Panel with District Leaders

Esther M. Bellah, M.Ed.
Bilingual/SLAR Coordinator
Teacher & Learning Development
Garland Independent School District, TX

Kim Newton
Senior Director K12, Curriculum & Instruction, Professional Development
Modesto Schools, CA

Tammy Jones
Literacy Coach
Modesto Schools, CA

Yara Abad
Coach/Specialist
Teton County School District, WY

2:50–3:00
Break  
3:00–3:50 Structured Biliteracy: What Every Educator Should Know Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan
President, Valley Speech Language and Learning Center
3:50–4:00
Break  
4:00–4:45 Biliteracy for Emergent Bilinguals: The What and the How

Dr. Sandra Mercuri
Assistant Professor, Bilingual Education and Biliteracy, The University of Texas

Vivian Pratts
Bilingual Educational Consultant at VP Dual Language/Biliteracy/ESL Consulting

4:00–4:45 Making Sense of the World Through Rich Vocabulary Instruction: The When, Why, and How to Teach Vocabulary in Bilingual Settings Dr. Doris Baker
Associate Professor, Department of Special Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin
4:45–5:00
Wrap Up  
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Attend our live event and win a free biliteracy t-shirt!


To help celebrate English language learners as readers, we’ll also be raffling off hundreds of The future is bilingual/El futuro es bilingüe t-shirts all throughout the day of the event! As if you needed another reason to attend this amazing day of discussion and celebration!

Save your spot at our free virtual symposium!
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