Dr. Jim Cummins
Dr. Jim Cummins
Jim Cummins, professor at the University of Toronto, is one of the leading authorities on second language learning and bilingual education. His distinction between BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) and CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) as well as the statement of a CUP (common underlying proficiency) for L1 and L2 are fundamental in the training of any bilingual teacher all over the world.
Dr. Cummins has also helped educators analyzing different bilingual systems and creating classroom tools as his model for categorizing different types of activities taking into account cognitive demands and the embedded / reduced contexts.
Supporting Multilingualism in the Classroom: Teachers Generating Knowledge through Innovative Practice
The rapid growth of bilingual and trilingual programs across Spain in recent years represents probably the most successful planned implementation of bilingual education anywhere in the world. However, rapid growth also brings challenges of teacher training, school leadership, and effective instructional practice. The presentation will review the international research on bilingual education (including second language [L2] immersion and content and language integrated learning [CLIL]) with a focus on identifying the core insights that have emerged from this research. These insights include the principles that we (a) integrate the teaching of language and academic content and actively reinforce language (both L1 and L2) across the curriculum, and (b) we teach for active two-way transfer of concepts, language knowledge, and learning strategies across languages.
The relevance of these principles for instructional practice will be illustrated by contrasting the experience and outcomes of two approaches to bilingual education: (a) Canadian French immersion programs where it has been assumed that the two languages should be kept rigidly separate and isolated from one another, and (b) the ‘Literacy Squared’ bilingual approach implemented in Colorado and other parts of the United States by Professor Kathy Escamilla and colleagues where there is a focus on active teaching of literacy in both languages (Spanish and English) and promotion of crosslinguistic transfer across the curriculum.
Finally, the presentation will highlight the role of teachers as knowledge-generators whose instructional innovations during the past 20 years have generated extensive insight about effective approaches to bilingual pedagogy.
Literacy Engagement and Identity Investment: Key Components of Successful Bilingual Education
Most educators and policy-makers are intuitively aware that it is important to develop a strong culture of reading among students. This is often challenging when students are learning through a second (or third) language. However, when we realize just how overwhelming the research evidence is regarding the crucial importance of literacy engagement for academic development, it brings an urgency to the need for schools to develop explicit policies regarding the promotion of literacy engagement for all learners. The presentation will discuss ways of developing school-based language policies, drawing on the concept of identity texts as a tool to enable students to take ownership of their own dual language literacy development in ways that include both receptive processes (e.g., reading, video viewing, etc.) and productive processes (e.g., writing, video creation, etc.). The central focus of the presentation will be on the importance of enabling students to do powerful things with their two (or more) languages in such a way that their emerging identities as bi/multilinguals are affirmed.