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Inaugural UW Innovation Office Shanghai Seminar Announced:

"Language Education Policies, Bilingualism & eLearning"

The Center for East Asian Studies, the Wisconsin China Initiative, and the Division of International Studies are pleased to announce the inaugural Shanghai Seminar: "Language Education Policies, Bilingualism & eLearning".

Led by Professors François Victor Tochon and Catherine Compton-Lily of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, UW-Madison School of Education in March, 2013, this project will have the participation of UW Professors Aydin Bal, Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education, and Erica Halverson (Curriculum & Instruction), as well as faculty and researchers from the Shanghai Municipal Government, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Shanghai International Studies University, among others.

Language Education policies and their relation to English is a pressing topic in Asian countries, as attested by the move to consider English as an ASEAN and Asian lingua franca. Schools have had great difficulty in adapting to recent changes; the best intentions often translate into strategies that prevent pupils from accessing their local languages as well as fully developingwriting skills in the national language. Furthermore, when English immersion is enforced from early grades, it can deprive a majority of children from the ability to learn fully the contents of the various disciplines. Difficult experiences are currently bringing international and Asian experts in language education policies to propose new directions that will be more fruitful in both the development of the local and national language and the growth of English proficiency.

This seminar will bring together experts in different aspects of education from the United States and China in an international and comparative research project on language education policy in action in the elementary classroom where bilingualism is targeted, either as a source of problems, or as a solution. Hoped-for outcomes include future collaborative research that will inform scholars and policy makers about this topic, which will only become more vital as globalization-driven bilingualism continues to grow.

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