UNT and Jalisco partners present at NABE conference


UNT College of Education faculty members continue their partnership with educators and administrators from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. In spring 2017, scholars from both countries collaborated to present papers about critical issues facing students and their teachers at the annual conference of the National Association for Bilingual Education in Dallas.

The Jalisco delegation comprised eight members representing the Secretariat of Education Jalisco and different universities in Jalisco that focus on educational research and the preparation of teachers. They were there representing the Mexico Association for Bilingual Education (MEXABE), a new international affiliate of the National Association for Bilingual Education. They presented during NABE’s ESL and Bilingual Education Special Interest Group Institute co-chaired by UNT Teacher Education and Administration faculty members Ricardo González and Rossana Boyd.  The emphasis of the presentations was on institutional efforts to promote bilingualism; bilingual teachers’ preparation for the early childhood and elementary grades; and redefinitions of curriculum and practices in order to embrace culturally, linguistically and socially diverse learners’ historical and sociopolitical stances.

The collaboration between UNT and the Secretariat of Education Jalisco was sponsored by NABE, UNT’s Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education, the Velma Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education, UNT’s College of Education and the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.

Nancy Nelson, Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education at UNT, provided a global perspective on matters of language and culture, including bilingualism and plurilingualism. She pointed to the importance of language in connections between Mexico and the United States. Following this further, Jalisco educators Ruth Perales and Lya Sañudo Guerra provided the Mexican point of view in terms of overall pedagogical approach to the teaching of English as a second language and the actual status of bilingualism in Mexico and their future goals.

Dina Castro, UNT’s Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education, addressed the preparation of early childhood teachers in bilingual and intercultural contexts in the United States. She took the group for a visit to a dual-language preschool in Grand Prairie ISD.

Martha Vergara, professor from the University of Guadalajara described the preparation of teachers in indigenous contexts in Mexico and the characteristics of the courses in the teacher education programs helping educators teach Spanish to indigenous populations. Lastly, Luz Celina Ramírez, director of the Teachers College of Arandas, described the influence of migratory trends to and from the United States and the south of Mexico and how those are taken into consideration to educate teachers.

The knowledge shared during these presentations allowed both UNT and the Jalisco delegation to engage in a constructive discussion about different methods of teaching and professional development for teachers. Boyd described the trajectory of the collaboration: “Future collaboration will allow both parties to be a part of common research projects that can be implemented both in the United States and Mexico”

The collaboration between the Jalisco delegation and UNT was the continuation of a 10-year relationship dedicated to research, student and teacher professional development, and building professional bonds.

 

Top photo, members of the Jalisco delegation with Rossana Boyd, far right, principal lecturer in UNT's Department of Teacher Education and Administration.

Bottom photo, Jalisco representatives make plans with Nancy Nelson, left, Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education at UNT.