University's 32nd Annual Bilingual/ESL Conference to Discuss Complexity of the Bilingual Mind

William Paterson's highly successful conference for bilingual scholars, researchers, and teachers will explore the complexity of the bilingual mind

Jennifer Austin, keynote speaker

A conference designed to address the complexity of the bilingual mind will be held on Friday, December 7 at William Paterson University.

The event, “The 32nd Annual Bilingual/ESL Conference: Two Brains in One?!, The Complexity of the  Bilingual Mind,” will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the University’s building at 1600 Valley Road in Wayne. The fee is $135; $125 for William Paterson alumni; and $50 for current William Paterson students, faculty, and staff. Food and materials are included.

The keynote speaker is Jennifer Austin, Rutgers University, who will present “The Linguistic and Cognitive Consequences of Early Bilingualism.” Her research has included exploring the interactions between specific linguistic and generalized knowledge systems in second language acquisition. She has published extensively on the effects of bilingualism on the cognitive and language development of children and has found an accelerated mastery of specific cognitive processes in bilingual children.

In addition, the conference will include a series of workshops for ESL/bilingual professionals on a variety of topics. Workshops are planned for three concurrent sessions beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 3:15 p.m. Topics include information processing in the bilingual and monolingual brain; second language acquisition and speech/language disorders in bilingual children; and community ethnography for teachers.

Launched in 1981, the conference is recognized as one of the most comprehensive language education forums in New Jersey, and regularly draws several hundred educators as participants. This year’s event is sponsored by William Paterson University’s Bilingual/ESL Graduate Program, Department of Languages and Cultures, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Education, and Center for Continuing and Professional Education.

For additional information, contact the Center for Continuing and Professional Education at 973-720-2354.