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Archived Content from Conference Held in October 2004 

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2004 Immersion Conference: Pathways to Bilingualism

Conference Themes

Theme 1: Program Design and Development

Newcomers and veterans of immersion programs alike are faced with a number of important program design and development issues that are key to successful programming. As the purposes for immersion education expand and change and its intended audience becomes increasingly diverse, so too does the need to understand clearly how to align program design and development considerations effectively with specific purposes and student populations. This theme welcomes presentations about particular immersion program models, program start-ups, teacher preparation and development, and other challenges pertaining to program design and development.

Theme 2: Assessment and Program Evaluation

Assessment and program evaluation are fundamental to all educational programming. In immersion contexts, assessment brings unique complexities. This theme addresses large-scale testing and evaluation and their impact on immersion programs as well as school-based and classroom-based assessment practices. In addition, this theme includes research on program outcomes and their implications for program improvement and best practices.

Theme 3: Immersion Pedagogy and Language Development

A central issue in immersion pedagogy is how to ensure language development during content-based teaching. This theme includes both theoretical and practical questions related to first and second language development and use in a variety of immersion settings. This theme will showcase teacher or action research and other types of classroom-oriented research in order to provide opportunities for researchers and practitioners to discuss pedagogical innovations that seek to address the challenges of promoting second language development at all levels in a wide range of immersion program models. It will also provide a forum for practitioners to share innovations and teaching strategies developed in their own classrooms.

Theme 4: Policy and Advocacy

Immersion educators are well aware of the impact that local and national policies have on their ability to implement effective programs. Because of the complex issues that surface in programs involving issues of language and culture, immersion educators have an ongoing need to advocate for their programs and address questions about what they do and why. This theme will include critical and analytical perspectives on: language education policy and planning, legislative mandates, standards, the socially-situated nature of language and learning, and ways to advocate as immersion practitioners.

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414