Presenter links bilingual education to economic strength
DALLAS, July 17, 2018 — Viviana Hall, a national education consultant with the Dallas-based education technology company Istation, will be among the presenters at the International Literacy Association 2018 Conference this weekend (July 20-23) in Austin, Texas.
“Dual-language learning is not just for students who come to school speaking Spanish. It helps native English-language students as well,” Hall said. “We know grade-level readers who are native English speakers in a dual-language program exceed the scores of similar students studying only one language.”
In her presentation – “Spanish Literacy Development: Learning to Read as if It Were a Game” – Hall will use Istation’s downloadable resources to develop learning centers that target specific foundational reading skills and promote transferability of skills between English and Spanish. Hall has presented about Istation Español and the importance of dual-language learning at conferences across the United States and abroad.
“Istation’s Spanish program is a dual-language product that promotes literacy in both the Spanish and English languages for native speakers in both languages,” Hall said. “Our program is both culturally relevant and ‘authentic’; we do not translate existing English-language lessons. The content is conceived, written, and executed in the Spanish language.”
Hall said this approach gives teachers a means to evaluate students’ progress in both the students’ native language and a second language. The result is that educators can better prepare interventions based on language and literacy targets.
“Students who overcome the language barrier and who become fluent in multiple languages have the best chance to reach their God-given potential,” she said. “The reality is there will be doors open for them that will be forever shut to those who are not bilingual – and that translates into better jobs and a brighter future.”
Hall also noted that communities that embrace bilingual education have a leg up on those that do not when it comes to attracting businesses and industries. Recently, Hall wrote an op-ed piece published in a business journal that explored the connection between economic development and bilingual education.
“In every economic development proposal, one of the key components every community touts is its skilled workforce,” she said. “As the United States becomes a more diverse nation, that list of skills businesses need and expect includes a workforce that can communicate in more than one language. Not only is this important in construction or manufacturing, where the ability to communicate is critical among workers, it is vital in service and retail businesses that serve a diverse customer, all of whom may not be English speakers – and in the end, Istation makes it easier for teachers to teach and students to excel in dual-language learning.”
Viviana Hall will make her presentation Saturday, July 21 at 11:30 a.m. in the Learning Lab 2 – Exhibit Hall 1 of the Austin Convention Center. Media outlets are invited to cover the presentation, and afterward Hall will be available for media inquiries and interviews.
Founded in 1998 and based in Dallas, Texas, Istation (Imagination Station) has become one of the nation’s leading providers of richly animated, game-like, educational technology. Istation was named one of 2019’s “EdTech 1000: Companies Transforming Education” by EdTech Digest, and has received numerous national educational technology awards. The Istation program puts more instructional time in the classroom through small-group and collaborative instruction. Istation’s innovative reading, math and Spanish programs immerse students in an engaging and interactive environment and inspire them to learn. Additionally, administrators and educators can use Istation to easily track the progress of their students, schools and classrooms. Istation now serves more than 4 million students throughout the United States and in several other countries. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018.
About Viviana Hall:
Viviana Hall started her career as a bilingual teacher in 1997. She has implemented many undergraduate and graduate bilingual teacher-training programs as a faculty member at various universities in North Texas. She has been the academic director of AGMUS International Dual Language University and a member of the Texas Education Agency Campus Improvement Team. Viviana has been instrumental in the development of Istation’s Spanish products, and she is currently a national education consultant.
Hall has recently presented at the 26th Annual Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Conference in Long Beach, California; the National Association for Bilingual Education annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and the International Congress for Professionals of Bilingual Education in Madrid, Spain.