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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct.-Dec. 2012 > DCEC Looks at Language Diversity in 2012-13

DCEC Looks at Language Diversity in 2012-13

DCEC announces Exploring Language Diversity as 2012-13 theme.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The College of Education’s Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) has chosen it’s 2012-2013 theme: Exploring Language Diversity. The key goal of the Exploring Language Diversity theme is to examine and provoke discussion on the ways language diversity enhances our country, our community and our own individual lives.

“Our nation is becoming increasingly linguistically diverse; yet many of us rarely take time to think about what that means,” said Laura Katunich, academic advisor for the College of Education and committee member. “Our hope is that future educators will take advantage of the DCEC programming and activities around the Language Diversity theme so that they can develop a better understanding of linguistic diversity and be better prepared to work with diverse learners in the future.”

Over the last two decades our communities have seen a tremendous increase in those who speak languages other than English. For educators this change presents both the challenge to re-conceptualize our practices to best meet the needs of non-native speakers of English, as well as the opportunity to learn and grow from our nation’s linguistic diversity.

The DCEC invites the college community to participate in an ongoing conversation about issues of language diversity and identity how they relate to our learners and our own linguistically diverse college and university community.

Plans are underway for events organized in relation to the theme. Possible events include:

  • a panel discussion with multilingual individuals sharing their experiences
  • films to raise awareness and build knowledge
  • a look at the “English Only” political movement and how it impacts students
  • raising awareness about ASL/visual languages issues


In the 2008-09 academic year, the DCEC began soliciting nominations and has selected themes to focus its educational efforts. Past themes have included:

  • understanding how disability is a natural part of human diversity
  • lesbian, gay and transgender issues in education
  • Penn State’s American Indian Leadership Program


For more information about the DCEC committee or to volunteer to be a part of upcoming events, please contact Laura Katunich at or Elizabeth Smolcic at

— by Ed Wons (October 2012)