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MELEd 2019 Keynote Speakers

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Ofelia García

Ofelia García is Professor Emerita in the Ph.D. programs in Urban Education and Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. García has published widely in the areas of multilingualism and bilingual education, the education of language minoritized bilinguals, sociology of language, and language policy. Among her best-known books are Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective; and Translanguaging; Language, Bilingualism and Education (with Li Wei), which received the 2015 British Association of Applied Linguistics Award. In 2017 she received the Charles Ferguson Award in Applied Linguistics and the AERA Lifetime Career Award in Bilingual Education. She is a member of the National Academy of Education. 


Her keynote address is titled “Language education for Multilingual Learners: The Wolf and The Lamb." Building on Aesop’s fable of “The Wolf and the Lamb ,“ this Keynote will focus on how language in the education of minoritized multilingual learners in the U.S. has often functioned as the wolf, leading to injustice. We will examine the ways in which language and bilingualism have been constructed to minoritize those who are then deemed to be inferior. And we will focus especially on two instruments of language/power that have been misused in education in the last decade: standards and academic language. We will end by proposing that leveraging what we call translanguaging in educating multilingual learners can resist the tyranny of language that the wolf proposes. By providing some translanguaging classroom examples, we show how the renewed focus on engaging multilingual learners’ creativity and criticality has the potential to transform their education.