Language Education Policy Studies
An International Network
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University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Language Education Policy and Identities Inclusion: Cultivating Distinctiveness

Perceived Identities of Immigrant, Displaced and Refugee Children

MARCH 15-17, 2017

 Madison, WI, U.S.

Spring 2017 INLEPS


DAY TWO: Sonata Room 2nd floor (Gordon Events Center)

Cultivating Distinctiveness and Identity:

An inclusion challenge for Teachers as Educational Policymakers

9:00 ROUNDTABLE 6. Intersection of Policies in Language and Education: The Eco-linguistic link to schools and identity. Kristine Harrison & Sandrine Pell, UW-Madison. 

Refugee and migrant parents, and the children depending on their age, have varying language education experiences and a rich cross-linguistic scenario when they enter the host country’s school system; yet linguistic and cultural assimilation is the norm. From a bio- and ecolinguistic human rights framework, such language shifts across generations is effectively the violation of linguistic human rights, denying the students’ languages as repositories of knowledge and potential cultural bridges. Schools are where culturally speci c languages and knowledge is often lost—in exchange for standardized content. Teachers do not understand their identity. Sandrine Pell will talk about institutional discourse, its bias and underlying racism based on her ethnographic study in a French high- school last year interviewing 10 rst- second- and third- generation immigrants from the Maghreb (Morocco and Algeria). She will illustrate how the school policies both at state level (the ban on face covering), and at the school level (a French only regulation) affect her participants’ cultural and linguistic identities; the link between the teachers’ beliefs about language use and acquisition and her participants’ literacy practices; resulting in a subtractive view of bilingualism and loss of the participants’ heritage language. 

10:40 ROUNDTABLE 7. Bells of War in the Peace Class: A Critical Look. Gülistan Gürsel-Bilgin, Indiana University, Bloomington; YaoKai Chi, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

A good civic education can accomplish the vital goals of cultivating an attitude that respects tradition and culture, loving the nation and homeland that have fostered them, while respecting other countries and contributing to international peace and development. That is because it helps students develop and evaluate personal attitudes and choices as well as respect the beliefs of others, even those who hold a different worldview. Since teachers constitute a signi cant part of the educational system, not only their attitudes and behaviors but also their personality and mentality critically in uence the development of students’ behaviors. As a result, teachers’ attitude toward con ict and the way they handle con icts have an indispensable role on students’ developing con ict management skills. Due to the cross-cultural features requiring the ability to adjust to almost in nitely diverse intercultural communication situations, EFL/ESL settings are signi cant environments that re ect real life in that they entail conflicts and conflicting situations. Kurdish language education experience in neoliberal Turkey will be discussed as well. 

10:40 ROUNDTABLE 8: Language Education Policy, Neoliberalism and Migration. Madina Djuraeva and François Victor Tochon, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Umeda Gadaybaeva, President of Arkon Education Group, Khujand University, Tajikistan. 

Language Education Policy (LEP) is the process through which the ideals, goals, and content of a language policy can be realized in education practices. The discourses and curricula of LEP reveal and are related to status, ideology, traditions of thought, and a vision of what society should be. Neoliberalism became not only an economic idea, but it has also started to in uence the ideas and values of people which in turn affect their life trajectories. The ideals of neoliberalism have become important criteria in shaping ideologies around language education policy and learning languages has become less than “a choice”, but rather “a necessity” for children and their parents. Furthermore, this necessity has become one of the reasons and a result of transnational migration. Unfortunately, immigrants have to go through “sink or swim” process when coming to a new country. Even though United States has a long history of immigrant communities, there is still a huge gap and a need to create appropriate support in education in general, and language in particular, for immigrant communities. 

12:00-1:30 LUNCH

2:00 ROUNDTABLE 9. The Misuses of Special Education: Legitimizing sorting and classifying immigrant and refugee children in U.S. Contexts. Elizabeth Kozleski, University of Kansas & Corina Borri-Anadon, University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. 

Freire told us that “The educator has the duty of not being neutral”. In uncertain times, we are reminded that teaching is a highly political act. The underlying assumptions and biases that undergird pedagogical decisions must be challenged to ensure that our local acts serve to empower and legitimize multiple literacies and funds of knowledge. Understanding how this happens in classrooms and schools is critical to resisting sorting, classifying, and segregating new waves of immigrants already traumatized by the circumstances that led to their diaspora. Sorting processes like special education are convenient mechanisms for avoiding the necessary and dif cult work of supporting polylingual development in schools. 

2:00 ROUNDTABLE 10. Integrating (African) Immigrants and Refugees into the American School System. Fessahaye Mebrahtu, Executive Director, Pan-African Community Association (PACA), Milwaukee; and Kalkidan Fett (MATC student). Refugees come to the USA with high expectations of improving their life and especially the life of their children. However, the demands made on them to be self-suf cient in a very short time often times derails their aspirations. They need proper guidance and mentoring not to lose sight of their goals. It is critical for refugee serving agencies to understand the dreams and aspirations of refugees regardless of their education or employability skill level. They all have dreams to achieve and skills to share. Mentoring them will keep their dreams alive and their skills relevant. Kalkidan Fett will talk about rst language attrition and it’s detriments and impacts on adoptees. She will discuss assimilation v.s. integration as it pertains to language and cultural ties, re ecting on her time in ESL and how alienating it felt; how the focus during those few years was on reaching benchmarks rather than nding the balance between maintaining her mother tongue and acquiring a new language. 

3:30 ROUNDTABLE 11. Bilingual Teachers’ Holistic Bilingual and Bicultural Becoming: Situated Professional Identities Across Multiple Communities of Practices. Patricia Venegas, School of Education; Ben Marquez and Peter Haney, Chicla program, University of Wisconsin- Madison; Aitor Luna Olivares (MMSD teacher). 

This roundtable session draws from data collected from a qualitative study that explored how bi/multilingual dual immersion teachers employ their Spanish-English bilingualism and biliteracy as resources for learning, meaning making, professional identity construction and mobility across institutional contexts in an urban school district. More speci cally, the study examines the speci c policies, programs, practices, ideologies, and identities within bilingual contexts. It also demonstrates how these individuals disrupt, resist, and transform them as new possibilities and outcomes for themselves and for their emergent bilingual students. This session is highly relevant for researchers and practitioners who seek to realize the promise of educational equity for language minority students and for them as bi/multilingual beings and professionals. Aitor Luna Olivares, who is from Spain, teaches bilingual social studies at La Follette High School (MMSD). He works with DLI and ESL groups and is currently conducting action research on language, identity and power in the classroom as part of the Greater Madison Writing Project. 

3:30 ROUNTABLE 12. Perceived notions of immigrant children and youth identities. Shirley Steinberg, University of Calgary, Canada/ University of West Scotland, UK; Erica Halverson, University of Wisconsin- Madison. 

In this interactive roundtable, we will discuss the contexts in which media literacy is used in order to create emancipatory work for schools and communities. We will explore ways in which curricular changes in both formal and informal learning situations can be made through media activist approaches, cultivating media citizenship, and by using media, itself, to illustrate the importance of literacy, in an age of Newcomers. This discussion focuses on increased understandings from the many facets covered. Rather than othering and fearing the student using media-disseminated views on their backgrounds, reasons for migration, languages and ‘religion’, teachers will converse with academics about how realistically plurilingual and pluralistic societies can be fostered at least from the classroom, if not from state politics. 

3:30 ROUNDTABLE 13. From Theory into Practice: Educating Immigrant and Refugee Students in the K-12 Classroom. Kimberly Oamek, Mary Zuidema, and May Mijares. 

As K-12 teachers, there are many things to consider in educating and supporting the learning of immigrant and refugee students. We will rst frame the discussion around learning through a framework of sociocultural theory towards unpacking how teachers assume a “stance of inquiry” when working with immigrant and refugee students and how this bene ts them. In serving as a valuable opportunity for learning in practice and professional exchange, we will open up a space for dialogue in asking “What does this look like in practice for immigrant and refugee students in the classroom?” We will share resources, techniques, and tips that can be put into practice now and also explore next steps or possibilities for future work around the needs of immigrant and refugee students. 



back to DAY ONE March 15

DAY THREE March 17



Gregory A. Cheatham, University of Kansas

Anne D’Antonio Stinson, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Peter Haney, Chicla program, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Elizabeth Kozleski  - University of Kansas 

Donaldo Macedo, UMass-Boston

Ben Marquez, Chicla program, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sumin L. Mullins, University of Kansas

Shirley O’Neill, University of Southern Queensland

Mariana Pacheco - University of Wisconsin-Madison 

Shirley Steinberg, University of Calgary, Canada and University of the West of Scotland, UK

Francois Victor Tochon - University of Wisconsin-Madison 



José Aguilar, University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle 

Nathalie Auger, Montpellier III

Corina Borri-Anadon, University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres, Québec

Jean Claude Beacco, ENS, European Council, Paris 

Daniel Coste, ENS Superior Normal School, Lyon, European Council 

Pierre Escudé, University of Bordeaux 

Stéphanie Fonvielle, ESPE, University of Aix-Marseille 

Laurent Gajo, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Cécile Goï, François Rabelais de Tours 

Philippe Masson, Lille 2 University

Christina Romain, ESPE, University of Aix-Marseille

Nathalie Thamin, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté



José Aguilar, University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle

Araceli Alonso, University of Wisconsin-Madison,

Miguel Aranda, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Manuel Fernandez-Cruz, University of Granada,

Kristine M. Harrison, University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras

José Gijón Puerta, University of Granada, Spain

Jaime Usma Wilches, Antioquia University, Colombia