Bilingual Community Celebration

Board Members of BTSA

The Bilingual Teacher Student Association (BTSA), at UCI, hosted the end of the year bilingual community celebration this year at Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen in Irvine on June 4. This year, the attendees included: MAT bilingual candidates, new and present board members of BTSA, past BTSA presidents, MAT bilingual alumni and incoming MAT bilingual candidates.


Bilingual Education Minors with Julio Torres, Spanish Professor & Director of the New Minor

BTSA president, Alejandra Grande, passed out stoles to graduating members of BTSA. Three of the four receiving stoles this evening, with future bilingual teacher embroidered on them, are also the first group to graduate with a minor in Spanish/English Bilingual Education from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The new minor officially launched this past fall of 2018. A total of six undergraduates from UCI were able to successfully minor in the new field before graduating this year.

Also receiving stoles this evening were the six MAT bilingual candidates. They successfully completed their student teaching assignments in dual immersion classrooms this past year. Four of the six have secured teaching positions at dual immersion schools. Susan Guilfoyle, bilingual coordinator, presented the six stoles to the newly minted bilingual teachers at the event. UCI undergraduates, graduates, alumni and mentors made this a wonderful celebration for our growing bilingual teaching familia.


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UCI School of Education Students at Annual CABE Conference

This year, all six UCI bilingual elementary MAT students were able to attend the CABE conference in Long Beach on March 20-23. Students were able to attend on Thursday with the help from a grant recently awarded to the School of Education. They attended various workshops, met several district representatives from dual immersion schools and cheered fellow MAT student, Araceli Jimenez, at the awards luncheon on March 21. Araceli Jimenez is the 10th bilingual MAT student to receive a teachership award (see p.236) from CABE. She received the award with other aspiring bilingual teachers that were selected and was among other noted recipients receiving distinguished awards for their dedication to the field of bilingual education.

Other students in attendance were UCI secondary world language MAT students and undergraduate members of the Bilingual Teacher Student Association, a student organization at UCI.  Cabinet members of BTSA are currently minoring in bilingual education at UCI, a new minor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese that launched this past fall. They were able to attend a free day in exchange for their volunteer service on another day.

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Building a Pathway for Future Bilingual Teachers

BTSA cabinet members (in grey), Julio Torres and Susan Guilfoyle (both in blue), wearing new club shirts. “I am bilingual. What’s your superpower?”

The Bilingual Teacher Student Association (BTSA), an undergraduate club at UCI for future bilingual teachers, recently hosted an informational meeting on the new Spanish/English bilingual education minor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  Spanish professor and director of the new minor, Julio Torres, explained the required courses offered in the School of Education, Humanities and Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  The courses will build foundational knowledge and skills in bilingual education; it will also build a pathway that will increase the amount of qualified future bilingual teachers in the field.  Lecturer and faculty advisor for BTSA, Susan Guilfoyle, discussed the fieldwork component in dual immersion schools.  Students pursuing the new minor will need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of fieldwork service in a dual immersion (Spanish) program.

A panel of bilingual UCI MAT students were also present to share their experiences as student teachers in dual immersion schools. Margarita Rodriguez, Karina Calderon and Elisa Garcia discussed lesson planning, interviewing skills and other related topics.  All three were undergraduates at UCI and Elisa was past president of BTSA.  All three have also secured employment as bilingual teachers for next year.

The majority of students attending the meeting were education science majors.  Many in attendance showed great interest and excitement in the new minor.  Students will be able to start declaring the minor in the fall.


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2018 CABE Teachership Awards

The annual California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Conference was held in Sacramento this past week, from 3/28-3/31.  Five aspiring bilingual teachers were selected to receive teachership awards this year (see page 221 for all awardees); three of the five recipients were from UCI’s School of Education MAT program.  Margarita Rodriguez, Karina Calderón and Jennifer Chavez-Lanza (from left to right) were recognized at the annual awards luncheon held on Thursday, 3/29/18.

This isn’t the only year UCI MAT candidates have been recognized.  Past recipients of the award are now bilingual teachers at various dual language immersion programs.  In total, including recent recipients, nine have received this prestigious honor.  Some, like Megan Gibbs and Marco Castillo, recipients of a teachership award in 2014, are strong advocates in the field and have mentored countless bilingual undergraduates from UCI.  Megan is also a master teacher for many UCI bilingual student teachers enrolled in the MAT program.  They both teach at Gates Elementary School, a well known two-way  Spanish immersion school and strong partner school for many bilingual UCI students completing fieldwork hours at the graduate and undergraduate level in the School of Education.

Meeting Jose Luis Orozco

This year’s recipients were allowed free admittance to the conference.  They had the opportunity to attend many workshops and meet many well known individuals in the field of bilingual education.

Alma Flor Ada

Yvonne Estling, principal of Gates Elementary School, was also in attendance at the conference.  All three award recipients from UCI are completing their student teaching in two-way Spanish immersion classrooms at Gates in Lake Forest.  The principal is hosting seven bilingual student teachers from UCI this year.

Yvonne Estling with the Three Award Recipients



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Bilingual MAT Candidates at CABE Conference in Anaheim

UCI Bilingual MAT Candidates with Bilingual Coordinator

Bilingual MAT candidates, from the School of Education, began their spring quarter by attending the CABE (California Association for Bilingual Education) conference two weeks ago.  The conference was held in Anaheim from March 29 to April 1.  During their attendance at the conference, they met several school districts in need of bilingual teachers for their dual immersion schools and attended the various workshops offered, from current multilingual policy to dual language strategies in all content areas.

On the first day of the conference, Susan Guilfoyle, bilingual coordinator from the School of Education, moderated a panel of administrators from several new dual immersion schools in Westminster, Orange, Garden Grove and Fullerton (see Start-Ups: Lessons Learned From First Year Dual Immersion Programs, p. 73).  Bilingual MAT candidates had the opportunity to meet with the panel after the workshop to discuss job opportunities at their schools.

Bilingual candidate, Joanna Baires Amaya, attended the awards luncheon held on Thursday, March 30.  Among the many notable awardees during this luncheon,  CABE awards four teacherships to aspiring future bilingual teachers.  Joanna was recognized as the Charles “Chuck” Acosta Teachership (see Charles “Chuck” Acosta Award, p. 216) recipient this year.  Joanna is the sixth recipient from UCI’s MAT program to receive a teachership award from CABE.  All past recipients are successfully teaching at dual language schools.  Megan Gibbs, past award recipient, is now a UCI master teacher for bilingual student teachers enrolled in the UCI MAT program.  She is in her third year of teaching first grade in Spanish at Gates Elementary School’s two-way immersion program.

Megan Gibbs (on right) with Current UCI Bilingual Student Teacher, Cristina Rubalcava


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