You are here: American University School of Education Institute for Innnovation in Education Heritage Language Conference Schedule

Community-Based Heritage Language Schools Conference

2022 Community-Based Heritage Language Schools Conference The Power and Sustainability of Multilingualism

Conference Program | October 7 & 8, 2022

Bios of all speakers can be found here.

Event and workshop presentations can be found here.

All available event and workshop recordings can be found here.

Each recording is also linked below in the schedule after the title of the workshop.

Friday, October 7

(Eastern Time)
12:45p.m. to 1:00p.m.- Participant check in
1:00p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Conference Opening

Workshops - 1:45 - 3:15 pm
Teachers Adminstrators

Best Practices in Heritage Language Instruction

Marta McCabePh.D., President, Czech and Slovak School of North Carolina; Program Coordinator, English for International Students (EIS), Duke University (participating in-person)

Agnès Ndiaye TounkaraProgram Officer, the French Heritage Language Program (participating in-person)

Janaki Bhatt Singh, Program Director, Hindi Language Program (participating in-person)

Mudida Tiwary, Founder, Hindi Language Program (participating in-person)

In this workshop, representatives of French, Hindi, and Tamil heritage language schools will share best practices in HL instruction based on the experience with their respective programs. Participants will share their experiences and discuss applications of the presented concepts and ideas in small groups/breakout rooms. 

Managing an Effective Community-Based School

Anthony Thorpe
Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Leadership and Management, Roehampton University, London, UK (participating in-person)

Angela Hasheva, Executive Director, Association of Bulgarian Schools in America; Founder and Director, Bulgarian School of Seattle (participating in-person)

Gergana IvanovaPresident and Principal Officer, Bulgarian School of Atlanta Parent Foundation

Norma Najjar, Founder and Director, Abjadiyah language program, Bethesda/Potomac, Maryland (participating in-person)

Bob Uriu, Ph.D., Board of Trustees, Orange Coast Gakuen-Japanese Language School, Huntington Beach, California

This workshop will provide insights into what sustainability means for the effective leadership and governance of community-based heritage language schools and provide examples from the day-to-day practices of schools. Participants will learn about, and share their experiences with, the components of a high-quality, sustainable heritage language school in starting, increasing, and expanding the organization. Topics under discussion include leadership succession, developing succession plans and good governance, marketing and outreach, and effective funding strategies.

Break – 3:15p.m. -3:45p.m. 
We are happy to set up online groups meetings by request.

Transition to next workshop – 3:45p.m. -4:00p.m.
Workshops – 4:00p.m. -5:30p.m.
Teachers Administrators

The Foundations of Critical Instruction and Project-Based Learning 

J. Eik DiggsM.Ed., University of Arizona

Maria CarreiraPh.D., Emerita Professor of Spanish at California State University, Long Beach; co-founder and Emerita co-director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) at UCLA; Board of Directors, ACTFL

Critical instruction requires a constant evaluation of the power dynamics that exist within the classroom. This workshop will begin with a brief introduction to foundations of critical instruction and pedagogy and strategies for educators to make their classrooms more equitable and affirming spaces for the most marginalized students. Project-based learning (PBL) is a powerful tool for engaging in critical instruction, leveling up proficiency, building engagement, and providing opportunities for real-world language use. Within these two arenas, this workshop will take participants through the step-by-step process of designing projects and structuring their production, in the context of CBHL schools in a critically sensitive environment. For participants who are not familiar with critical instruction and PBL, the workshop will open with a brief review of the principles and best practices of these frameworks. Participants will have the opportunity to meet in breakout rooms and work in detail with the presenters on practices that they might implement.

The State and Global Seals of Biliteracy: How to Participate

Linda Egnatz,
 Executive Director, Global Seal of Biliteracy (participating in-person)

Bianca Chang, Member, Maryland State Board of Education

Veronica Trapani, Ed.D., Associate Director for Content, World Languages and International Education, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction 

This workshop will provide an overview of both the individual State Seal of Biliteracy programs and the Global Seal of Biliteracy. Participants will learn how to create pathways for their students to receive this meaningful recognition. The workshop will include discussions on how to implement a Seal of Biliteracy program, how to prepare to assess students' language skills, and how to facilitate dialogue with other schools to provide access to these Seals for students in community-based heritage language programs. 

Transition to next event – 5:30p.m. -5:45p.m.
Keynote Speaker – 5:45p.m. -6:30p.m. 

Translanguaging Pedagogy in Community-Based Language Schools

Ofelia Garcia, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Urban Education; Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures (LAILAC), Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) (participating in-person)

This presentation focuses on these questions: 

  • What can we learn about children´s bilingual development by focusing on children who attend community-based language schools and whose families´ language practices at home go beyond simply English? 
  • How does their bilingualism differ from those who learn a second language in school? 
  • What has been the role of community-based language schools in the U.S. in the development of American children´s bilingualism? 
  • What pedagogical practices do teachers use in such schools to ensure that children make meaning of family language practices and develop them as part of their own repertoire? 

By taking up translanguaging as the theoretical lens through which to listen to the children’s complex bilingual practices at home, and the ways they are leveraged in these community-based language schools, we question some of the assumptions that have been made about bilingualism and the education of bilingual children in the nation’s public schools. We focus on the experience doing bilingualism of community participants and families, as well as the parents’ and teachers’ practical wisdom in teaching their own children bilingually. We then draw lessons about bilingualism and bilingual teaching that could be of use in all U.S. bilingual communities, as well as in the nation’s public schools. 

After Conference Activities

Online participants are welcome to stay and meet with other participants until 7:00p.m.
In-person participants are invited to a local restaurant for community building.




Saturday, October 8

(Eastern Time)
9:45a.m. to 10:00 a.m. - Participant Check-in

Panel and Respondents – 10:00a.m.-11:30a.m.

The Role of Community-Based Schools in the National Language Landscape

Richard Brecht, Ph.D., Co-director, American Councils Research Center; Co-Founder and Chief Language Officer of Jeenie, immediate human interpretation in 300+ languages (participating in-person)

The America’s Languages Portal: Model Programs and Practices Advancing Access and Equity in U.S. Language Education

Language as an obstacle to social, health, and legal services in the U.S. is a social justice issue being taken up across the nation. Language education too must be understood as a social justice need to address the historically unequal access for learners in marginalized bilingual and disadvantaged monolingual communities. 

To address language education as a social justice issue, the “America’s Languages Initiative” is directed at documenting where and how access to effective and relevant language education is provided to Native American, heritage, immigrant, refugee, Latinx, Black and Brown, and other disadvantaged rural and urban communities in all of America’s languages. “America’s languages” includes all of this multilingual nation’s languages: indigenous, colonial, immigrant, educational (foreign, world, ancient), and sign. The term is meant to accentuate the rightful place of indigenous and immigrant language programs within the language education system. 

This presentation will describe and invite applications to the foundational website, the America’s Languages Portal: Model Programs and Practices Advancing Access and Equity in U.S. Language Education, an unprecedented data set of language programs that currently increase equitable access to historically underserved learners and languages in the United States. We will focus particularly on community-based heritage language schools as a critical component of this unprecedented national effort to incentivize a more just language education system serving more, and more diverse, learners and all of America’s languages.

Jim CumminsPh.D., University of Toronto 

Doing Powerful Things with Language: How Heritage Language Schools and ‘Mainstream’ Education Can Work Together

How can parents and educators enhance the impact of community-based heritage language instruction? This question goes back to Joshua Fishman’s pioneering research in the 1970s when he reported that although heritage language proficiency gains in many schools were modest, community-based heritage language instruction played a significant role in promoting a sense of ethnic identity among students. This presentation will describe recent initiatives in both North America and Europe that highlight the benefits of ‘mainstream’ schools adopting a ‘language-friendly approach’ that ‘normalizes’ and affirms the value of students’ knowledge of additional languages in ways that can greatly enhance students’ motivation to develop their heritage language knowledge and opens up rich possibilities for cooperation and coordination between community-based heritage language schools and educators in ‘mainstream’ school environments. 


Celia Chomón Zamora, Ph.D., Director, Professional Learning & Certification, ACTFL  (participating in-person)

Amanda Seewald, M.Ed., President, Joint National Committee for Languages/National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL/NCLIS) (participating in-person)

Melissa Bowles, Ph.D., Co-Director, National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC), UCLA 

Lunch Break – 11:30a.m. -12:00p.m. 
Workshops – 12:00p.m. -1:30p.m. 
Teachers   Administrators and Teachers
Keeping the Heritage Language

Alive in the Teenage Years

Ana Lucia Licoco-founder and board member, National Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools; co-founder and board member, Brazilian Association for Culture and Education (ABRACE) (participating in-person)

Rita Schmith, School Director, Brazilian Association for Culture and Education (ABRACE)

This workshop presents initial research findings on what teenagers like to do using their heritage language and what they suggest for teachers and parents to help them remain connected to their heritage language and culture. Presenters will also share examples of successful activities implemented within a youth program created by a Brazilian community-based school in the Washington, D.C. area, with the hopes to inspire more youth-focused programs.


Delivering on the Promise of Proficiency: Backward Design and Assessment

Paul Sandrock, Senior Advisor for Language Learning Initiatives, ACTFL (participating in-person)

Celia Chomón Zamora, Ph.D., Director, Professional Learning & Certification, ACTFL (participating in-person)

Sara I. Ramirez, Spanish linguistics doctoral student, Georgetown University (participating in-person)

How is your language program meeting the expectations of learners, their families, and the local language community? Identifying proficiency targets is a good beginning, but how can you plan purposefully to guide learners to higher levels of proficiency? In this workshop we will:

  • Walk through “backward design” planning to design appropriate assessments and effective instruction, focused on achieving your program’s goals
  • Consider how to adapt goals, assessments, and instruction to the ages and grades of your learners

Practice in small groups by creating one critical element of the planning process

Break – 1:30p.m. -2:00p.m.

We are happy to set up online group meetings by request.
Workshops – 2:00p.m. -3:30p.m.
Teachers Administrators

Using Technology in Curricula and Instruction

Tommy LuEd.D., Board Member, Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools; Board Member, Chinese School of Delaware; Advisor, Washington Metropolitan Association of Chinese Schools (participating in-person)

Bhavya Singh, M.A., J.D., Instructional Technology Specialist, Teacher Training Institute, New York University; Hindi Language Facilitator, California Language Teachers' Association

Agnès Ndiaye Tounkara, Coordinator, French Heritage Language Program at the FACE Foundation; Language Representative, Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools; Advisory Board Member, CALEC (Center for the Advancement of Languages, Education and Communities) (participating in-person)

Ching-Yi Yeh (Tracy), Ed.D., Program of Learning Science, National Taiwan Normal University

Yueyue Fan, Ph.D., Director of Performance Reporting and Analysis, Grand Prairie Independent School District, Grand Prairie, Texas

This workshop presents different technology tools that heritage language teachers can use to help improve student engagement and learning. Presenters will share their best practices, application experiences, and a technology app that may inspire conference participants to explore and enhance their teaching experiences.


International Guidelines for Professional Practices in Community-Based Heritage Language Schools

Renata Emilsson Peskova – 
Ph.D., President, Móðurmál - the Association on Bilingualism, Iceland 

Gisi Cannizzaro – Ph.D., Managing Director, Heritage Language Education Network (HLE Network), Netherlands 

Renate Ludanyi
Ph.D., German Language School Conference, United States

Antonella CortesePh.D., President, International and Heritage Languages Association (IHLA), Alberta, Canada 

Constantine IoannouExecutive Director, International Language Educators Association (ILEA), Ontario, Canada

Ken CruickshankPh.D., Professor in Education and TESOL, Sydney University, Australia

This workshop introduces the International Guidelines for Professional Practices in Community-Based Heritage Language (CBHL) Schools. We will explain why the document was created and for whom. We will discuss the practices listed so that participants from CBHL schools in the U.S. and other countries can reflect on ways to use the guidelines to improve their organizations. The guidelines are divided into four components: 1) Core Values: Principles of Professionalism, (2) Organization: Governance and Leadership of the School, (3) Educational Program: Teachers and Instruction, and (4) Community Outreach. While all four components taken together give a full picture of professional practices, it is possible for teachers and managers to make a plan according to their needs that focuses on any particular area of interest. We will receive comments about the guidelines from four leaders in CBHL the field of schools, and we look forward to receiving feedback from the audience about the usability of the guidelines.

Transition to next event – 3:30p.m. -3:45p.m.  


Networking Sessions - 3:45p.m. - 4:45p.m.
  1. Features of High-Quality Instruction 

  2. Successfully Establishing and Sustaining a Community-Based Language School

  3. The Impact of Politics on the Development and Growth of Heritage Languages/Mother Tongues in the United States 

  4. How Community-Based Schools Are Doing

  5. How Other Countries Are Helping Heritage Language Schools in the U.S. 

  6. Uses of Assessments

Closing Session (Recording)

After Conference Activities 5:45p.m. -6:30p.m. 

Reception on site
Online participants are welcome to stay online to meet with other participants.