GC Symposium Highlights Interdisciplinary Approaches to Multilingualism in Education

Language and language choices play a significant yet often unacknowledged role in fostering inequality. This is evident where insufficient services in “minority” languages result in disparities and lack of opportunities for speakers of those languages.

On September 23, 2016, the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS) hosted Multilingualism and Language Empowerment, A Response to Inequality, a Graduate Center Symposium. The symposium highlighted the value and relevance of language and literacy projects conducted at the Graduate Center to New York’s multilingual population. Presenters shared multilingual approaches to improving access to education for immigrant students and speakers of minority languages.

Throughout the day, 27 researchers, educators, curriculum developers, and other specialists shared their innovations and research. The symposium’s 102 attendees were comprised of colleagues across 13 CUNY campuses, and 10 institutions outside of CUNY, including 8 representatives from the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Recordings of the symposium presentations are available on the symposium website homepage (https://empowerment.commons.gc.cuny.edu/).

This event was co-sponsored by institutions, initiatives, and projects at the CUNY Graduate Center, including: The Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS), The Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC), The Second Language Acquisition Laboratory (SLAL), Bridges to Academic Success, the Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC), and the Endangered Language Initiative. To learn more, visit https://empowerment.commons.gc.cuny.edu/ or email rislus@gc.cuny.edu.

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