Last month, I kick-started our 2013 conference exhibits with a trip to the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) conference, which was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida. It is a few years since we last exhibited at NABE, and my first time at the conference. While there were very few people I’d met before there, it was really interesting to chat to all the delegates who popped by the stand and to meet a few of our authors for the first time.
Among the authors I spoke to were Ofelia García and Bahar Otcu who, together with Zeena Zakharia, edited our new book Bilingual Community Education and Multilingualism, Beatriz Arias one of the editors of Implementing Educational Language Policy in Arizona and Carla Meskill who co-authored Teaching Languages Online. These titles aside, our books on language policy and teaching were the most frequently picked up, with Janet Fuller’s new textbook Spanish Speakers in the USA being very popular, as was Teaching Languages to Students with Specific Learning Differences by Kormos and Smith.
I was really fortunate to be able to leave the stand to attend Ofelia García’s inspiring keynote session “Global Perspectives on Bilingual Education: Implications for the US”. I found hearing about language practices in 4 quite different countries very interesting and one of several quotes which has stuck with me since the talk goes something along the lines of “English runs through my veins, while Spanish is in my heart”. What kind of damage are we doing to a child if we remove one of those components?” I was pleased to hear her speak about the exciting new book she has published with us, and, as a cyclist, I especially enjoyed her use of pictures of bicycles to complement her talk!
The conference apart, I really enjoyed feeling some warm Floridian sun on my face – quite a change from the cold we’ve had in the UK recently. It was also quite novel to be at Disney World, although I was very pleased that I didn’t have to fight Mickey away from our books and, to my great relief, I didn’t actually see Mickey (or any of his friends) once!