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Identifying and Serving the Unique Needs of the Immigrant and Refugee Populations in the US and throughout the World

September 17, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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About the Panel

CAL is bringing together key thought leaders to discuss the challenges educators, researchers and policy makers face of identifying and serving the immigrant and refugee populations within the United States and throughout the world.

Although the students from countries outside of the United States continue to experience ever increasing restrictions in entrance and access to the United States, the needs and demands continue and those serving the population require support and accurate information.

Additionally, the refugee and immigrant populations outside of the United States are experiencing equally dire restrictions and living conditions. Like their U.S. counterparts, world support organizations need accurate information and avenues of access to raise awareness and have a chance to address the needs of the population.

Panel Members:

  • Shirley Brice Heath, Ph.D., Stanford University, Noted scholar and dear friend of the Center for Applied Linguistics
  • Martha Bigelow, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2020 CAL Charles Ferguson Award Winner
  • Nancy Hornberger, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2020 CAL Board of Trustees Member & 2019 CAL Charles Ferguson Award Winner
  • Fatima Zahra, Ph.D., Lakshmi Mittal & Family South Asia Institute Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Special Guest
  • Roberta Miceli, M.A., Interim Vice President, Center for Applied Linguistics, Panel Host

About the panelists:

Shirley Brice Heath, Ph.D.

Shirley Brice Heath, linguistic anthropologist, studies learners across the life span in non-formal environments of learning. She gives primary focus to the ways in which speakers, young and old, learn the structures and uses of language as well as the attitudes, gestures, and interactional ways called for in learning environments of all types. In community arts organizations, she has examined the learning outcomes that result when youth living in under-resourced communities participate in planning, creating, producing, and critiquing products and performances. Within community sites dedicated to involving young people in sustained science learning, she has given special attention to the ways in which science learning demands close analysis of visual detail, trial and error, sketching and modeling projects, and strategic problem-solving. In her research on families, friendship groups, and community organizations, she studies how responsible roles accelerate desires for organizational, scientific, and mathematical knowledge.

She is the author of Words at work and play: three decades in families and communities (2012) and the classic Ways with Words: Language, life, and work in communities and classrooms (Cambridge University Press, 1983/1996). Heath has taught at universities throughout the world, most notably Stanford University and Brown University, and as Visiting Research Professor at King’s College, University of London.

Martha Bigelow, Ph.D.

Dr. Bigelow is internationally known for her work in education, applied linguistics, and cultural studies. Although she has focused mainly on the language learning and schooling of adolescent refugees from East Africa, she is deeply invested in the schooling of all language learners as they learn in home, community and school settings. Dr. Bigelow also investigates teacher education experiences and classroom pedagogies that support equity and access in education. Dr. Bigelow earned her Ph.D. at Georgetown University with a major in Applied Linguistics in 2001 and joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in the same year. As a prolific author and recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Bigelow embodies Ferguson’s commitment to academic rigor and his global vision about the importance of language learning, access, and equity.

Nancy Hornberger, Ph.D.

Dr. Hornberger is a Professor in the Educational Linguistics Division of the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. She is internationally known for her work in bilingualism and biliteracy, ethnography and language policy, and Indigenous language revitalization. She researches, lectures, teachers, and consults regularly on multilingual education policy and practice in the United States and the Andes (Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador) and has also worked in Brazil, China, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and other parts of the world. Dr. Hornberger investigates language and education in culturally and linguistically diverse settings, combining methods and perspectives from educational anthropology linguistic anthropology, and sociolinguistics.

Fatima Zahra, Ph.D.

Dr. Zahra is a postdoctoral research fellow for the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University. In this role, she is committed to devising public polices to enhance employment and education opportunities for women, refugees and other marginalized groups in South Asia. She is currently working with the local community at the Rohingya refugee camps to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of refugees. In collaboration with NGOs, she is also working on designing interventions to enhance education and health outcomes of women and children by leveraging mobile technologies in these camps in Bangladesh.


September 17, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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