46th Annual NABE (National Association for Bilingual Education) Conference. February 22-25, 2017, Dallas, TX. Dr. Castro represented UNT in the Panel: Bilingual Teacher Preparation for the Early Childhood and Elementary Grades presenting about the preparation of early childhood teachers in bilingual and intercultural contexts in the United States. Dr. Castro focused her attention to a discussion of teachers’ knowledge and competencies needed to work effectively with young bilingual children. This panel was part of the collaboration agreement between UNT and the Secretariat of Education of the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Dr. Castro also organized a visit to a bilingual education preschool in Dallas for the representatives from the Secretariat who participated in the conference.

Biennial Conference of the Society for Research in Child Development. April 6 – 8, 2017, Austin, TX. Dr. Castro was invited to participate in the panel: Describing and Quantifying Bilingualism: The Need for Consistency and Accuracy for Research and Education.  She also presented a paper derived from her research collaborations related to early childhood bilingualism, titled Variability in Exposure to and Use of L1 and L2, Quality of Teaching Practices, and the Language Development of Bilingual Children.

Latin American Studies Association Interdisciplinary Conference (LASA). April 29 – May 3, 2017, Lima, Peru. The Theme of this year’s congress, “Dialogo de Saberes”, highlighted a broad range of dialogues that are at the heart of Latin American studies today, across academic disciplines, geographic locations, beyond the academy and other sites of knowledge production. Dr. Castro participated in an international symposium at this conference to present the paper titled From Policy to Pedagogical Practice: Linguistic Diversity and Quality of Preschool Education in the United States and Peru. Other presenters included Dr. Laura Valdiviezo, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA, Dr. Fanny Añaños-Bedriñana, Universidad de Granada, Spain, and Dr. Luis M. Valdiviezo, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

X Seminar on Educational Research at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, (PUCP). September 12-14, 2017, Lima, Peru. Dr. Castro presented in a discussion on: “Interculturalism in Education”.  She and her colleagues, Nora Cépeda and Pilar Lamas, faculty in the Department of Education at the PUCP, shared findings from the study “Intercultural Education: A Case Study with Shipibo Communities from the Amazon in Lima and Ucayali”. This is a collaborative study between UNT and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Representatives from the Ministry of Education of Perú and the PUCP research community provided commentaries about the implications of the study findings.

X Seminar

 53rd ANNUAL CONFERENCE TEXAS ASSOCIATION FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN (txaeyc), October 19-21, 2017, San Antonio, TX.   Dr. Castro with a group of eight graduate students from the UNT early childhood education program participated in this conference. This activity was part of the Velma E. Schmidt Chair on Early Childhood Education scholarship course: Early Education Policy for Texas Dual Language Learners.  The goal of this course is to complete a policy analysis and provide recommendation related to teacher preparation, curriculum and instruction, and accountability systems to address the early education opportunity gap among young DLLs in Texas. Students received a travel award to attend this conference.

txaeyc conference
Dr. Castro and UNT early childhood doctoral and masters’ students participating in a Public Policy Forum at the txaeyc conference where they discussed current issues on early education in Texas.

3rd INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BILINGUAL EDUCATION, November 06 –10, 2017, Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain. Dr. Castro, was Chair and presenter at the symposium: “Education of Young Bilingual Children in Peru, the United States, Italy and Belgium: An International Examination”, this symposium discussed how bilingualism is addressed in early education in minority-majority and majority-majority language communities, analyzing experiences in countries with very distinct societal and demographic characteristics like Peru, the United States, Italy and Belgium.

Milan conference
From left to right: Mr. Wim de Grieve, Service de L’Inspection de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Belgium. Dr. Dina C. Castro, University of North Texas, USA., Mrs. Evienia Papadaki, The Bilingual School of Monza, Italy. Dr. Rossana Boyd, University of North Texas, USA.

Dr. Dina C. Castro, Professor and Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education at the Department of Teacher Education and Administration was an invited speaker at the international conference "Our Multilingual Schools: An Opportunity or a Threat / Tante Lingue Nelle Nostre Scuole : Un'opportunità O Un Ostacolo?" held in Milan, Italy, March 13-15.  In her presentation titled "Multilingualism and instructional approaches in early education: A cross-cultural review of the research” Dr. Castro discussed how the societal status of children's first language or mother tongue (as a minority or majority language) will influence the type of programming made available to bilingual children in early education programs.  Specifically, she shared findings from a review of research on language of instruction approaches in the education of young bilingual children and their language policy contexts.

Guests at Milan ConferenceFrom left to right: Dina Castro, UNT; Marjorie Myers, Principal, Key Elementary School, USA; Eugenia Papadaki, Founder and Principal, Bilingual School of Monza, Italy; Fred Genesee, McGill University, Canada; Else Hamayan, educational consultant, Córdova, Argentina.