Keynote Speaker - Kate Menken

Professor of Linguistic and Director of Linguistic and TESOL Programs
Queens College

City University of New York (CUNY)

Full Bio

Kate Menken is a Professor of Linguistics and Director of Linguistics and TESOL Programs at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research interests include language education policy, bilingual education, and the education of emergent bilinguals in U.S. public schools. Her books are English Learners Left Behind: Standardized Testing as Language Policy (Multilingual Matters, 2008), Negotiating Language Policies in Schools: Educators as Policymakers (co-edited with Ofelia García, Routledge, 2010), and Common Core, Bilingual and English Language Learners: A Resource for Educators (co-edited with Guadalupe Valdés and Mariana Castro, Caslon, 2015). She is Co-Principal Investigator of the CUNY-New York State Initiative for Emergent Bilinguals (NYSIEB) project ( and Co-Principal Investigator of Participating in Literacies and Computer Science ( Further information can be found on her website:

Keynote - Friday, April 26

What is Translanguaging and Why is it Important in the Classroom?

Presenter: Kate Menken

Abstract: Translanguaging refers to the fluid, dynamic, and flexible ways that bilinguals draw on the full span of their language and social resources to make meaning (García & Wei, 2014). This presentation offers participants an introduction to translanguaging theory, and suggests that centering students’ bilingualism holds great promise for education. The following two principles for translanguaging in schools are presented to participants during this session:

  1. Bilingualism as a resource in education
    Translanguaging pedagogy allows students to draw upon their entire linguistic repertoire in school. All of the languages spoken by bilingual children are leveraged as a crucial instructional tool and, to the greatest extent possible, nurtured and developed.
  2. A multilingual ecology for the whole school
    The language practices of all children and families are evident in the school’s visual landscape, as well as in the interactions of members of the school community.

Breakout Workshop - Friday, April 26

Connecting Translanguaging Theory to Chinese and Mongolian International Schools
Presenter: Kate Menken & Tatyana Kleyn

Abstract: In this session, participants will learn how translanguaging theory can be applied in their schools. This will begin with an analysis of how their school currently approaches students’ bilingualism and of the school’s multilingual ecology. Participants will then take a first step in applying translanguaging theory into the classroom through a hands-on project that any educator can do in any school context, and which will benefit your students and the entire school community.