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Book by Ithaca College Education Professor Earns Publisher's Award

 ITHACA, NY — “Profiles in Emergent Biliteracy: Children Making Meaning in a Chicano Community” has been named as a book of the year by Peter Lang Publishing. Written by M. Cathrene Connery, assistant professor of education at Ithaca College, “Profiles” chronicles the academic development of two children in a bilingual kindergarten class where Connery taught in New Mexico.

Chris Myers, managing director of Peter Lang Publishing, noted that Connery makes the teaching experience come to life and imbues the reader with her love of the work.

“Following your experience as a teacher of two very interesting, challenging and linguistically gifted children and your sensitive depiction of their journey as English language learners, this book provides a legacy of instructions for all teachers of biliterate students,” said Myers.

“Profiles,” which was published in 2011, was honored in the Educational Psychology: Critical Pedagogical Perspectives series after a review by the Peter Lang editorial and production staffs and based on the recommendation of the series editor, Greg Goodman. The book portrays the familial, communal and academic contexts in which the two kindergarten students appropriated dual proficiencies in English and Spanish.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by a press whose mission and affiliated authors espouse such a strong commitment to educational equity and social justice,” said Connery. “As I see it, the award recognizes the gifts of all linguistically rich children and their dedicated educators. My hope is that the work will contribute to our understanding of how to support what it means to come of age in the barrio, to retain one’s heritage language and to appreciate the creative complexities of multilingualism and biliteracy.”

Connery’s research and advocacy focuses on theoretical, pedagogic and programmatic concerns surrounding the education of culturally and linguistically diverse children in the United States. Her expertise in emergent biliteracy and dual-language immersion programs has been recognized by a number of professional associations. In 2006 she received a national award for her work in promoting diversity by the National Association of Extension 4–H Agents.