May 2 – Global Perspectives on Language and Education Policy Research Poster and Outreach Session

Students from Global Perspectives on Language and Education
Students from Global Perspectives on Language and Education, a Futures Initiative course led by Ofelia Garcia and Carmina Makar in Fall 2015 (Photo credit: Carmina Makar)

Monday, May 2 | 4:30-5:30 PM


WHERE: The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue

Room: 9204

WHEN: Monday, May 2, 4:30 PM-5:30 PM EDT

CONTACT INFO: futuresinitiative [at]; (212) 817-7201


Students from Global Perspectives on Language and Education, a Futures Initiative course led be Ofelia Garcia and Carmina Makar in Fall 2015, will share their research on language practices throughout diverse CUNY campuses.

Through the use of posters, featured projects include:

  • “The burden of ‘nativeness’: Four plurilingual student-teachers’ stories” – Maria Cioè-Peña, Emilee Moore, Luisa Martín Rojo
    • Oral history interviews conducted with four student teachers in Bilingual Education or TESOL studies are analyzed. Despite having been deconstructed in sociolinguistics and related fields, the ‘native’ and ‘nonnative’ dichotomy emerges not only as salient in participants’ self-perceptions of linguistic competence, but also in feelings of unpreparedness for full participation in the teaching profession. Alternative categories are explored, such as ‘legitimate speaker’, ‘resourceful speaker’ or ‘bi/plurilingual’, which may act in juxtaposition to that of ‘native’, or offer emancipatory ways forward. In line with critical pedagogy, for such alternative categories to empower, the task of reimagining how linguistic competence is constructed in the teaching profession – through the appropriation of tools to critically deconstruct ‘nativeness’ – is one that the entire educational community must engage in.
  • “Ideology, Access and Status: Spanish-English Bilinguals in Spanish-as-Foreign-Language Classrooms” – Michael E. Rolland
    • Previous research has determined that Spanish for Heritage Speakers classes are the best setting for Spanish-English bilinguals to develop their Spanish. But what if Heritage classes are not offered where these students study? This is the case at Brooklyn College.
  • “From Marginality to Mattering: Linguistic Practices, Pedagogies and Diversities at a Community-Serving Senior College” – Hannah Göppert & Andrea Springirth
    • As part of the Futures Initiative project conducting research on the different languages spoken across the CUNY campuses, the goal of this project was to gain an insight into the linguistic ideologies and experiences of students, teachers, and staff at Medgar Evers College.
  • “A Volunteer Kuridsh Language Class in New York: A Platform for Social, Political and (Inter)Personal Engagement” – Demet Arpacik–Renata Archanjo
    • Kurdish is the 40th most largely spoken language in the world among some 6000 to 7000 languages, yet, it has faced immense efforts of extermination and assimilation threats in every country that encompasses predominantly Kurdish populated areas. Yet, Kurdish language found refuge and expression mainly in exile and Kurdish language has been associated more and more with the Kurdish identity and with the political struggle of Kurdish people. The present study looks at a very special case; a voluntarily initiated Kurdish language class that takes place in the middle of Manhattan, NY, at a prestigious public university. What is it that makes learning Kurdish language essential to the participants of this class despite lack of benefits to do so in a foreign land where Kurdish is not spoken? To answer this question, we conducted interviews with 3 students and the teacher of the class to understand the dynamics within and beyond the Kurdish language class, the interplay of their political ideologies and their sense of belonging, as well as the intricate process of identity negotiation through language practices.
  • “CUNY NYC Language Mapping Project” – Michael Dorsch
    • With this project, we have set out to map the languages spoken across NYC using U.S. Census data (American Community Survey 2013). A proximity buffer analysis was done using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to aggregate the percentage of the population living in census tracts within a 1-mile buffer from each CUNY campus that speak different languages (as grouped by the U.S. Census Bureau). The analysis gives us a snapshot of the languages spoken in the communities closest to each CUNY campus. Data on languages spoken by first-time freshmen students at CUNY campuses and on language courses taught at different CUNY colleges allow for comparison between languages spoken in communities around each CUNY campus and the languages education opportunities offered at each campus.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309