Thursday, February 11, 2010

Conference to Explore Stories of Life in a New Language


Conference to Explore Stories of Life in a New Language

Author: Lee Ann Cox1
Email: LeeAnn.Cox@uvm.edu2
Phone: 802/656-1107 Fax: (802) 656-3203

"Identity and Intercultural Awareness: Responding to the stories of English Language Learners," an afternoon focused on the experiences of school-age refugees and other immigrants, will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Maple Ballroom, Davis Center.

Conference highlights include a presentation of digital stories by Cynthia Reyes, associate professor of education, whose research centers on helping young English language learners simultaneously increase linguistic proficiency and self-confidence by sharing themselves and their cultural heritage through multimedia storytelling. The keynote speaker is Denise Lamoureux, state refugee coordinator for the Vermont Agency of Human Services, and a panel of high-school age refugee immigrants will share their stories of navigating dual cultures.

One panel volunteer, a young man from the Congo, asked Reyes what (future education and social work students) were going to learn from them that they couldn't get from a book. "That's just it," she answered, summing up a key point of the event, "they don't get anything in a book about you. If you're able to personalize the experience they can make that connection between you and what they learn in the book about how to teach you."

There will also be small group discussions focusing on specific topics (for more information, see a PDF of the event flyer at )
and a performance by Africa Diamono of drumming and West African music.

The conference is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

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