Target Audience: Heritage language, Indigenous and Ancestral language, bilingual, and ESL educators at the late elementary through secondary level. Early elementary, postsecondary, and world language teachers are welcome to attend, but they will need to adapt the presented materials for their contexts.

Description: In this workshop participants will explore Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) and learn how YPAR can create an environment for empowering student language use while connecting learners to transformation and change in their own communities. Using examples from Spanish and Hmong heritage language classrooms, participants will be introduced to the basic framework of doing YPAR, and things to consider when doing YPAR in classrooms and schools. The presenters will also share stories and examples of doing YPAR from start to finish, highlighting language objectives, intercultural communication strategies, and key things to consider along the way.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the key components of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR);
  • Identify whether YPAR is a good fit for their context of language teaching, learning, and reclamation;
  • Find and adapt lesson plans and materials for doing YPAR with learners; and
  • Work with others to design YPAR into their language teaching and relationships with young people.

Jenna Cushing-Leubner is an Associate Professor of Heritage/World Language, Bilingual/Bicultural Education, and TESOL at the Universities of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She has been collaborating with heritage language educators and families to design curriculum, texts, and instructional practices for over a decade. She is the creator and coordinator of UW-Whitewater’s online heritage language education professional development programming, and the co-convener of Lub Zej Zog’s Hmong Language Reclamation Project.

J. Eik Diggs is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona and a licensed Spanish language and ESL teacher with over a decade of experience with heritage language curriculum design and teaching. Her language teaching weaves together ethnic studies, the arts, identity work, and youth participatory action research.

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