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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Student-run Voice Your Language Forum Emphasizes Bilingual Education

Voice Your Language
In an event attended by more than 100 people, the student-run Voice Your Language forum brought to light the importance of multilingualism and biliteracy in our schools.

In an event May 1, the student-run organization Voice Your Language was able to gather guests from all over the San Diego are to weigh in on the importance of language in schools as not only a method of communication but also as a way for students and faculty alike to convey their particular culture from one to another.

Voice Your Language, the organization hosting the event, is dedicated to implementing multilingual practices into education policy and practice. The objective of the event was for attendees to reflect on the importance of bilingual education and to articulate why they believe multilingualism and biliteracy belong in California schools.

The two keynote speakers for the event, Drs. Antonia Darder and Donaldo Macedo, also weighed in the discussion. Darder, a professor at Loyola Marymount University, has published extensively in the areas of critical pedagogy and democratic education and emphasizes the importance of multiple cultures in the classroom. Macedo is a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, where he specializes in areas of critical literacy, bilingual and multicultural education and the politics of language.

Both speakers emphasized the importance of maintaining bilingual education in our schools and the many benefits they bring to students worldwide. While Macedo was able to voice his views on bilingualism through his own personal experience, Darder discussed the concept of linguistic discrimination and how it affects students in the U.S.

Dual Language and English Learner students that make up Voice Your Language continue to have their voices heard in regards to emphasizing dual-language practices in U.S. educational code. With the collective goal of enacting change to language practices, the Voice Your Language forum was successful in instigating a dialogue that will move bilingual practices into the limelight.