About the Conference:
“Linguistic Diversity in American Classrooms: Perspectives on Grammar, Accent, and Fluency” is a public conference to be held August 14-15, 2010 to engage all members of the community in open and meaningful discussion. This event was conceived partly in response to publicized reports alleging that the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) was instructing school districts to remove teachers who speak with “heavily accented” English from ESL classrooms out of concern that these teachers model incorrect language for new learners. As a recognized authority in questions of Teaching English as a Second Language, the UCLA Department of Applied Linguistics is holding this public conference to initiate collegial, well-informed, and balanced dialogue on the ADE’s alleged policies, as well as on broader issues in language as they relate to accent, grammaticality, fluency, and intelligibility.
The conference will present the most up-to-date scientific research on language learning and teaching, linguistic identity and interaction within public and institutional settings, bringing together scholars, students, legal analysts, media, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and the Arizona Department of Education for this dialogue. The presentations by various scholars will be accessible to non-specialists and supplemented with testimonials and stories of firsthand experiences from other members of the community who will speak on the topic of linguistic diversity as it relates to personal and professional experiences.
The ultimate goal of the UCLA Department of Applied Linguistics in holding this public conference is to promote civic engagement in our community and to incorporate diverse and meaningful academic, administrative, professional, and personal voices and perspectives into scholarly conversations. We welcome you to participate in the conference and join us in this effort to hold a respectful and meaningful dialogue about an issue relevant to us all, in which scholars will work together with other professionals, policymakers, and the greater community toward mutual understanding and positive change.
We look forward to meeting and collaborating with you.