More than 500 educators and administrators participated in the inaugural English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners Literacy Conference at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. In opening remarks, NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino welcomed attendees and thanked them for being “dream makers and dream keepers” for their students.
“Ours is a profession of hope - we don’t see obstacles, just how to reach our goals,” said Fortino. Other event speakers included Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, Regent Luis Reyes and Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia.
The daylong conference offered theoretical and practical classroom strategies for educators, ranging from K-12 general education teachers to English as a Second Language and bilingual educators. The event featured a full slate of workshops on topics including preschool multilingual learning, literacy development for English Language Learners and engaging ELLs in subject area instruction. A keynote address by Aida Walqui, author of “English Language Learners and the New Standards,” focused on realizing the potential of ELL students.
Organized by the New York State Education Department’s Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages, NYSUT co-sponsored the event for participants who earned six continuing education credits for the free event. Other sponsors included the Regional Bilingual Education Resource Networks and Questar III BOCES.