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June 24, 2009

Professor Steven Bender Speaks at UO Conference on Biliteracy June 26

Steven Bender, James and Ilene Hershner Professor of Law and director of Portland Programs, will take part in two presentations as part of the University of Oregon’s inaugural Conference on Biliteracy, taking place June 25-27 at the Erb Memorial Union. Professor Steven Bender

Professor Bender’s presentations both take place Friday, June 26. From 1:30 to 2:45 p.m., he will present “The Road to Bilingualism: Cross-Pollinations of English and Spanish in the United States” in the EMU’s Oak Room. This presentation offers considerable and colorful examples of the historical and current cross-pollination of the English and Spanish languages in settings ranging from geography to culture and cuisine. It urges recognition and tolerance of our increasingly shared languages, not by rejecting Spanish and legislating an elevated or exclusive legal status for English in schools or government, but by embracing our shared culture and our evolution toward bilingualism as a core national identity.

From 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Professor Bender will present as part of a panel on “Lessons Learned: Proposition 227, Proposition 203, and Measure 58″ in the EMU’s Fir Room. James Crawford from the Institute for Language and Education Policy, and Daniel HoSang from the UO’s Political Science Department, will join Professor Bender in providing reflection on state ballot measures designed to curtail and restrict the rights of English learners in various states throughout the U.S. Panelists will share insights on why and how these ballot measures have been so successful and what can be done in the future to combat these initiatives.

Sponsored by the UO’s College of Education, the conference will explore the impact new immigrants and non-English speakers are making on the states and towns in which they are settling and the way school systems have responded to this migration in general and immigrant students in particular.

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