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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Teaching Spanish to Native Speakers Conference to be held at NMSU

The Institute of Spanish for Native Speakers, the Department of Languages and Linguistics and the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University are sponsoring the 10th annual Conference on Teaching Spanish to Native Speakers July 16-18 at the Las Cruces Hilton.

ference will provide information regarding issues, methods, materials and research on the development of Spanish language skills of people with Spanish-speaking backgrounds. It is the only conference of its kind in the United States.

Participants at the conference are educators from local high schools and scholars and teachers from across the country at many different education levels, including Alice Salcido, with the New Mexico Department of Health, Cynthia Bejarano, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Eduardo Arellano and Michelle Valverde, of La Academia de Idiomas y Cultura. They will address topics such as computer training, building a dual language charter school, developing an online Spanish Placement Test and incorporating technology in the classroom.

A featured speaker is Chicana author Denise Chavez, who wrote "Face of an Angel," "The Last of the Menu Girls" and "Loving Pedro Infante." She also was the 2003 recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature. She will address the topic "Empowering the Voices of our Youth: A look at the Emerging Voices Program" at 12:15 p.m. Friday, July 16.

A keynote luncheon will feature Kim Potowski from the University of Illinois at Chicago at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, July 17. She will discuss national standards and teacher training in Spanish native speakers programs.

All conference sessions will be held at the Las Cruces Hilton in the Tularosa Ballroom. Friday and Saturday sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday sessions will run from 9-10:30 a.m. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Co-chairs for the 10th annual conference are Cecilia Pino, professor of languages and linguistics, and Patricia MacGregor-Mendoza, associate professor of languages and linguistics.

Pino serves as the director of the Institute for Native Speakers and created the conference in 1993 with the help of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. While most language conferences address only how to teach the non-native speakers, Pino said this conference focuses on the native speakers in the classroom, who are a valuable linguistic resource in the country.

The conference is open to the public and all educators. Registration is $50 for students and seniors and $75 for others. Tickets for the keynote luncheon may be purchased separately for $15.

For more information on the conference, contact the NMSU Department of Languages and Linguistics at (505) 646-3408.