William Paterson University's 36th Annual Bilingual/ESL Conference to Focus on Undocumented Students and the Stakes of Language on Friday, December 2, 2016

"Living Undocumented: High School, College and Beyond," a documentary by speaker Tatyana Kleyn, geared towards high school students, will be shown as part of the keynote address

Tatyana Kleyn

A conference focused on undocumented immigrant students and the challenges they face through high school, college and beyond will be held on Friday, December 2, 2016 at William Paterson University.

The event, “The 36th Annual Bilingual/ESL Conference: ‘Undocumented Students and the Stakes of Language,’” will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the University’s building at 1600 Valley Road in Wayne. The fee is $135; $121.50 for William Paterson alumni; and $15 for current William Paterson students, faculty, and staff. Food and materials are included.

There are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. One million are under 18 and are current or future students in bilingual and ESL classrooms. The realities, challenges, and opportunities these students face through high school, college, and beyond will be the focal point of this conference.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Tatyana Kleyn, an associate professor in the bilingual education and TESOL programs at the City University of New York. Kleyn, who holds an EdD in international education from Teachers College, Columbia University, is the author of Immigration: The Ultimate Teen Guide and co-author with Ademan Reyes of Teaching in Two Languages: A Guide for K-12 Bilingual Educators. A number of her publications have focused on the cultural, linguistic, and educational needs of the Garifuna people in Honduras.

Kleyn is the co-producer of Living Undocumented: High School, College and Beyond, a documentary geared towards high school students. This documentary will be shown as part of the keynote address. The film is presented through the lens of six DREAMers (undocumented youth), whose lives are dictated by the U.S. immigration system. The presentation will include an overview of current immigration policies such as the NJ DREAM Act, and federal programs including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as implications for educators to create inclusive and safe settings for all students in bilingual, ESL and general education while addressing immigration in a holistic way. A DREAMer will also share his or her experiences. 

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: “Working with Students with Interrupted Formal Education: What Should I Know?;” “Empowering Bilingual Families to Develop Literacy Skills at Home;” and “The Politics of Educating Undocumented Students.”

Launched in 1981, the conference is recognized as one of the most comprehensive language education forums in New Jersey. 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 the School of Continuing and Professional Education.

For the past 35 years, the success of this conference has stemmed from its commitment to exploring the best ways of meeting the educational needs of language-minority students. The conference continues to offer access to in-depth, applied research, and up-to-date pedagogical techniques. Topics and thought-provoking plenary sessions sharpen the language professional’s mind for pedagogical insight.

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