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On Friday, March 24, 2017, over 20 attendees joined the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota for the 6th Annual Mandarin Program Administrator’s Conference. The conference featured guest speaker Mr. Michael Bacon, Assistant Director of Dual Language at Portland Public Schools.
Bacon’s keynote "Language Immersion: Research Findings and Equity in Action" provided attendees with data and insight from a four-year federally funded research project, "Effect of Immersion Education on Academic Achievement,” a collaboration between Rand Corporation, American Councils, and Portland Public Schools (PPS). Bacon also discussed the resulting strategies Portland Public Schools implemented to bring more equitable practices to its immersion programs.
Additionally, Ursula Lentz from the Minnesota Department of Education presented on the MDE Bilingual Seals and J-1 Visiting Teachers Program initiatives and University of Minnesota Professor Diane Tedick introduced the University’s new Dual Language and Immersional Master of Education and Initial Elementary Teaching License program alongside two students who shared their reflections on the program.
About Michael Bacon:
Michael Bacon works in Portland Public Schools (PPS) as the Assistant Director of the Department of Dual Language overseeing program, professional and curriculum development for 15 dual language immersion (DLI) programs in Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Vietnamese across 26 schools K-12. He also directs district wide efforts to articulate and develop K-12 World Language programs along with Native Language Literacy in Spanish and Somali. Over the past four years he collaborated with the Rand Corporation and American Councils to conduct a federally funded (IES) funded research project on the Effect of DLI on Student Achievement in PPS resulting in three professional journal articles including the ACTFL Foreign Language Annals and numerous presentations. He directs the K-12 portion of the NSEP funded K-16 Oregon Chinese Flagship grant in collaboration with the University of Oregon and leads a district coordinated 21 Confucius Classroom consortium. Michael is currently on the advisory committee for the Asia Society’s national networking effort called Chinese Early Learning Immersion Network (CELIN) and recently served as the chairperson of ACTFL’s Dual Language Immersion Special Interest Group. He regularly presents at national professional conferences and workshops on DLI curriculum, instruction, assessment, programs and research. He has also been the PI on a numerous federal and local grant projects (i.e. FLAP). Michael currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages and served as president of the Association of Teachers of Japanese in Oregon for three years. He also worked for the College Board in the development of AP Japanese training. As a teacher he taught English in Japan for three years in a junior high school and then Japanese as a world language at middle and high school in Portland. He then taught Japanese and Social Studies for eight years in immersion designing, planning and implementing innovative practices and curriculum that continue today.