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7th Annual Enhancing Deaf Education: Language Planning and Leadership Seminar

Key educational leaders and administrators representing schools from eight states and the District of Columbia (Arizona School for the Deaf, Delaware School for the Deaf, Gallaudet University’s Clerc Center, Indiana School for the Deaf, Kansas School for the Deaf, New Mexico School for the Deaf, Penny Road Elementary in North Carolina, Utah School for the Deaf and Blind, and Wisconsin Educational Services Program-Deaf and Hard of Hearing) gathered at Gallaudet July 11 to 16 for the 7th Annual Enhancing Deaf Education: Language Planning and Leadership seminar.

In collaboration with the Gerald “Bummy” Burstein Leadership Institute (BLI), this project, started in 2004 under the direction of Dr. Stephen Nover of the College for Professional Studies and Outreach’s Language Planning Institute, is designed to enhance the infusion of an ASL/English bilingual education framework into the total schooling experience through school-based language planning. Rather than targeting classroom teachers, which was the goal of the Center for ASL/English Bilingual Education and Research’s (CAEBER) Summer Institute, held June 20 to July 2 this year, this professional development course is aimed at school administrators and educational leaders who, through consciously planning and structuring the school-wide learning environment, can ensure long-term development and change.

The seminar is part of CAEBER’s national collaborative effort among educators, parents, and researchers to provide leadership in language planning. It gives administrators opportunities to learn important theory and best practices about bilingualism and language planning, reflect on and take action to promote the effective implementation of school language and literacy policies, begin strategic language planning to ensure that each language is acquired and developed to its maximum potential for social and academic uses, and work to ensure that their school communities truly view both languages and English literacy as critical, indispensable language resources. The seminar has been a critical part of CAEBER’s long-term national outreach to facilitate, through mentoring and leadership programs, the strategic use of school-based language planning as a key element in the implementation and maintenance of an ASL/English bilingual professional development for teachers and teaching staff working with deaf and hard of hearing children.

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