Utah has a large and growing English learner population that brings a new language, new ways of interacting and understanding, and new ways of being together in a community. Yet because of language and culture differences, other Utah citizens see English learners only in terms of challenges rather than in terms of hope and promise.

To address these issues, the BYU-Public School Partnership, and Brigham Young University’s David O. McKay School of Education, School of Humanities, and Wheatley Institution are sponsoring the 2nd annual English Language Learner Symposium on June 10th and 11th, 2010. The purpose of the Symposium is to consider issues facing our community and schools because of the growing ELL population and how to work together to build on strengths that will support the Utah community.

Three national experts are invited to present: Norma Gonzalez, PhD, University of Arizona; Jodi Crandall, PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore; and Catherine Amanti, MS, Tucson United School District ESL administrator and middle school assistant principal. Their presentations are designed to stimulate thinking about the hope and promise English learners bring to the community. Local businessmen, legislators, educators, and community leaders will also share their expertise during the conference.

To engage and respond to the growing number of English learners, the symposium has a three-part organization.

  • The first day is focused on schools, teachers, and teaching. A variety of sessions will be offered to enhance teachers’ and administrators’ skills to work with English learners.
  • The evening of the first day a parent roundtable will be held to bring parents and school personnel together as teams to listen and to share.
  • On the second day of the symposium, families, community leaders, business leaders, legislators, and educators are invited to come together to learn about the knowledge and skills needed to respond to language differences, emphasizing the resources English learners contribute to the Utah community.

For more information and registration details visit the website or contact Winn Egan at (801) 422-7680 or winn_egan@byu.edu, and Carol Solomon at (801) 422-2772 or carol_solomon@byu.edu.

17 May 2010