International Education Washington

Early Language Learning Symposium 11/11/2005

Highlights from...

Early Language Learning Symposium
November 11, 2005 8:00 am - 1:30 pm

University of Washington Denny Hall, Room 216

Media Coverage

Early Language Learning Symposium at UW
A symposium held by the UW's Language Learning Center earlier this month has several students, faculty and staff members re-considering language requirements and when to begin teaching language. University of Washington Daily (11/23/2005)

Goal of the Symposium

To provide a forum for dialogue among educators, administrators, college faculty and students, parents, and community groups about the value of providing early language learning opportunities for children and the implications to our educational systems K-12 through higher ed when more students are learning more languages earlier and longer.

Some specific questions to consider:

  • What are the hidden benefits to beginning language learning early?
  • What does it take to offer early language learning in the schools?
  • Language acquisition and language learning -- where do they intersect?
  • What can parents do to give their children the benefits of early language learning experiences?


Note: To access streaming video of several of the presentations, visit:
This video requires Quicktime Player (also linked on LLC website).

8:00 Registration and morning refreshments

8:15 Welcome

  • Dr. Paul Aoki, Director of the Language Learning Center at the UW

8:20  Exploring Models for Early Language Learning

  • Dr. Michele Anciaux Aoki, Washington State Coalition for International Education, Consultant to John Stanford International School

8:35  Beyond Colors and Numbers: Global Passport to Culture-Based Language Learning in a FLES and Immersion Classroom
iEARN PowerPoint (67,645 K opens in a new window)

  • Jennifer Geist, iEARN (International Education and Resource Network)
  • Hiromi Pingry, Japanese Immersion teacher at John Stanford International School and iEARN teacher

9:20 Break with muffins and coffee

9:30 Keynote: Recent Research on Child Bilingualism  (PowerPoint)

  • Dr. Julia Herschensohn, Chair of Linguistics at the UW

10:15 The Hidden Benefits of Early Language Learning
Moderator: David Montero (raised bilingually);
Panel: Parents with their children who have been raised in a bilingual/bicultural environment: 

  • Klaus and Carmina Brandl (14) (German and Spanish)
  • Paul and Natalya Aoki (17) (Japanese, plus other languages)
  • Hedwige & Richie Meyer (15) (French)

11:00 Break with refreshments

11:15 Language Learning for Heritage Speakers

  • Hussein Elkhafaifi (Arabic language) (unable to attend)
  • Maria Gillman (Spanish classes at UW)

12:00 How do we make this happen?  Break-out and networking sessions on:

  • Preschool Programs
    (facilitated by Jackie Mighdoll & Hedwige Meyer)
  • FLES and FLEX Programs
    (facilitated by Jennifer Geist & Bridget Yaden)
  • Immersion and Dual Language Programs
    (facilitated by Michele Anciaux Aoki and Hiromi Pingry)
  • Middle and High School Programs and Implications for Higher Ed
    (facilitated by Klaus Brandl, Erin Jones, and Katy Armagost)
  • Heritage Language Learners and Programs to Meet Their Needs
    (facilitated by Paul Aoki and Maria Gillman)
  • Other Topics as needed...

Each breakout group should identify some key issues or challenges they face and some "first wins" -- action items that are doable in the near future.

1:00 Taking Action - What Next?

  • Reconvene to share next actions, closing words by Paul K. Aoki

1:15 Closing of the Symposium

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Resource Tables

The following organizations had information to share at the Symposium:

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Resource Packets

Items for the Resource Packets.

Resource # of pages
Models for Early Language Learning
Early Language Learning Program Goals
Elementary School Foreign Language Programs
Why Immersion?
Dual Language 101 (New Mexico)
Two-Way Immersion
Benefits of Second Language Learning
Learning second language changes brain
Brain Research:
Implications for Second Language Learning
Fred Genesee, McGill University
Children and Bilingualism
Raising Bilingual Children
Bilingual Acquisition
Bilingual Reflections of an Immersion Student
Heritage Language Learners
Spotlight on Heritage Languages
Tapping a National Resource: Heritage Languages in the United States
For Breakout sessions... 4
What is Bilingual Education?
Two-Way Immersion FAQs
Using English Achievement Data to Promote Language Immersion
Choosing an Immersion Model
Heritage Languages: Tapping a "Hidden" Resource
By James Crawford 
Heritage Spanish Speakers' Language Learning Strategies
General Resources
ACIE Articles Online Archive
(American Council on Immersion Education)

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Many thanks to the following UW Departments and Centers and other community organizations for providing financial and in-kind support of the Early Language Learning Symposium.

University of Washington

And our community partners:

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