UTEP Conference Focuses on Enhancing Bilingual Education

What: Approximately 500 participants from the U.S., Mexico and other Central American countries will share dual-language research and best practices during the 22nd annual Bilingual Educators Emphasizing Multicultural Settings (BEEMS) Conference.

When: Feb. 5-7, 2015 

Where: The University of Texas at El Paso’s Undergraduate Learning Center (UGLC), with site visits on Friday, Feb. 6, to area K-12 schools that offer dual-language curriculum and have achieved outstanding academic results.  

Registration and Information: coe.utep.edu/conferences/beems or 915-747-8565.

Scholars from around the region and beyond will learn about the latest technology and best practices for teaching dual-language education during the 22nd annual Bilingual Educators Emphasizing Multicultural Settings (BEEMS) Conference organized by The University of Texas at El Paso.

An estimated 500 parents, students, educators and administrators from as far away as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic will participate in this year’s BEEMS Conference that starts Feb. 5. Its theme is “Achieving Success for All Students.”

Organizers have scheduled workshops, keynote addresses and events during the three-day event focused on enhancing two-way bilingual education from kindergarten through college. Activities begin with the School Board Member Institute from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Region 19 Education Service Center, 6611 Boeing.

Participants will be bused to area schools that offer dual language curriculum and achieve outstanding academic results. They will visit Mesita Elementary School, Eastwood Knolls International School, La Fe Preparatory School, Alicia Chacon International School of Languages and El Paso High School Dual Language Magnet during the school day and return to the University’s Undergraduate Learning Center for general sessions until 6:30 p.m.

The evening program will include the presentation of BEEMS teacher, administrator and advocate of the year, and a keynote address from Luis F. Cruz, Ph.D., a former high school administrator who used humor, passion and practical applications to transform an underperforming school in Southern California that had a large English language learner population.

The Feb. 7 sessions will offer a keynote by Danny Brassell, Ph.D., about “Bringing Joy Back to the Classrooms.” The in-demand speaker states that education should be “fun, meaningful and memorable.” It also will include a featured presentation by Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas, internationally renowned academics conducting research in North Carolina who will advise educators how to transition from bilingual to dual-language education.

“We have the most outstanding and diverse group of keynote and featured speakers that we’ve had in the conference’s 22-year history,” said Josefina V. “Josie” Tinajero, Ed.D., professor of education and conference chair.