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CAL50 Symposium: the Power of Language in a Diverse Society

On March 12, 2009, CAL assembled a distinguished panel of scholars to consider how the power of language plays out in our diverse society.

Panel of Speakers
Dr. Walt Wolfram, Dr. Sonia Nieto, Dr. John Baugh, and Dr. Donna Christian (left to right)

Symposium Connections

Browse the Photo Gallery.

View Video Clips.
video camera imageCAL has posted video and the accompanying PowerPoint presentations to allow our Web visitors to benefit from the information shared at the Symposium.

Click on the icon next to each presentation Arrow to view the Flash video in a pop-up window. Standard controls at the bottom of the screen allow you to forward, reverse, pause, or stop the presentations. Click on the Play button to start each video in the pop-up window.

Oppix logoThanks to Oppix Productions for their generous support for CAL's 50th anniversary and the creation and posting of the video clips

Symposium Program

Dr. Walt Wolfram

Welcome

Dr. Walt Wolfram

North Carolina State University, Chair, CAL Board of Trustees

View the introduction. Arrow (6:11)
Dr. Donna Christian

Session Overview

Dr. Donna Christian
President, Center for Applied Linguistics

This introduction to the colloquium gives brief highlights of CAL’s work over the last 50 years to integrate research and practice and to improve understanding of language and culture.

Listen to a short audio clip of this presentation. Arrow (0:23)

Listen to the entire audio presentation. Arrow(5:05)

Dr. Sonia Nieto

Language, Diversity, and Learning: Lessons for Education in the Twenty-first Century

Dr. Sonia Nieto
University of Massachusetts (Professor Emerita)

The population of the United States is increasingly diverse, and language is at the center of this diversity. What can we learn from the nation’s experience with language teaching and learning in the past half century so that we are prepared for the challenges of the current century?

View Dr. Nieto's presentation. Arrow (25:46)
includes an audio introduction by Dr. Christian
Preview a short video clip of
this presentation.
Arrow (0:29)


Download the accompanying PowerPoint slides.
(729 KB)

Dr. John Baugh

Language and Opportunity

Dr. John Baugh
Washington University in St. Louis

Language is a powerful force for opening or closing doors in education, employment, housing, and other venues. How do we promote understanding so that the language of individuals and communities does not block opportunities?

View Dr. Baugh's presentation. Arrow (27:46)
includes an audio introduction by Dr. Christian
View Dr. Baugh's tribute to CAL's founder Charles Ferguson. Arrow (4:31)


Download the accompanying PowerPoint slides.
(744 KB)

Dr. Walt Wolfram

Changing Misconceptions About Dialect Diversity

Dr. Walt Wolfram
North Carolina State University

Misconceptions about language and about speakers of different language varieties
feed social and educational bias and inequity. How can language awareness programs bridge the gap between sociolinguistic knowledge and popular beliefs about language diversity?

View Dr. Wolfram's presentation. Arrow (29:42)
includes an audio introduction by Dr. Christian
Preview a short video clip of Dr. Wolfram's presentation. Arrow (4:05)


Download the accompanying PowerPoint slides.
(2,447 KB)

Learn more about the videos referenced in Dr. Wolfram's presentation.