Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dr. Cummins' Plenary in Madrid

In the last two years the CIEB, Congreso Internacional de Educación y Bilingüismo, has been celebrated in Madrid. All the presentations and plenaries from 2010 are available online and all are interesting. Only the plenaries from 2011, not the rest of presentations, are available online.
Experts in Bilingual Education, CLIL and Immersion Programs have taken part in both editions. I would like to recommend the plenary "Teaching for Transfer in Bilingual Education: Promoting Language Awareness and Literacy Engagement through Identity Texts" by Jim Cummins. He is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and his main areas of research are: language development and literacy development of learners of English as an additional language.

Mr. Cummins points out 3  elements which are key to improve the outcomes of a CLIL or a Bilingual Program:
  •  Understanding the Nature of English language and its links to Spanish (the plenary took place in Spain where English is the target language).
  • Promoting literacy engagement actively (and this idea links with improving our students' reading habits)
  • Showcasing students' creative work in both languages with a special interest in conjoint projects between schools.
I truly believe that all teachers and administrators involved in an ISA program can get very interesting ideas from this presentation to implement in their schools. Mr. Cummins speaks about some of the challenges ISAs have encountered in the last years. And he offers solutions.