Bilingual, Biliterate, Bicultural Conference Next Weekend at TAMIU

The meaning of being bilingual, bicultural and biliterate today will be explored in a conference next weekend (March 28-29)at Texas A&M International University.

The Conference, "Bilingual, Biliterate, & Bicultural: Goals Within our Reach," is organized by the TAMIU College of Education, and aims to offer local and area teachers a professional development opportunity.

" We hope to help teachers become more aware of the methodologies and strategies that will develop proficiencies in languages as well as to develop the academic language proficiency skills that help bilingual students to achieve academic success," said Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, dean of the College of Education.

Conference organizer and associate professor of education Dr. Miroslava Vargas said the Conference is the first regional bilingual education conference of its kind in Laredo.

"We've assembled an outstanding number of presenters who will help to bring this Conference's message to life," Dr. Vargas explained.

Current teachers, students planning on entering the career and administrators, should find the Conference of interest, she noted.

Conference cost is $40.00 per participant and includes a luncheon on Saturday. Registration is on a first come-first served basis and can be coordinated by calling any of the following: TAMIU: Patricia Lozano, 326.2688; Laredo Independent School District: Romeo Romero, 795-3459; United Independent School District, Patricia Uribe, 717.6248 or Yolanda Rodriguez at the Texas Migrant Council, 722.5174.

Proceeds from the Conference will support TAMIU Bilingual Education Student Scholarships. In addition to presentations by guest lecturers, interest sessions will be offered on the Conference theme. A panel of administrators from local school districts will present their progress on dual language programs.

Highlights of the Conference will include:

March 28 - 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Keynote speaker Maria Seidner, Texas Education Agency director of Bilingual Education speaking on an overview of the current status of bilingual education in Texas.

March 29 - (12:30-1:30 p.m.) - Dr. Arnulfo Ramirez, a Louisiana State University professor, will present Developing Bilingual Proficiency: Challenges and Opportunities. Dr. Ramirez is widely published and the author of four books in the area of second language acquisition, Spanish in the United States, bilingualism, text linguistics and discourse analysis.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Vargas at 326. 2684 or by e-mail at

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at