The 2019 Symposium will be held Saturday, November 9, 2019.

Please register at the door with cash or credit card! We will not be accepting checks. 

Monterey Bay Foreign Language Education Symposium 2019

This year’s theme: “Social Justice in Language Education”

The FLEDS organization committee considers Social Justice in Language Education to be the recognition of power differences between diverse communities of practice and the responsibility of institutions, educators, and learners to challenge inequitable systems in our society. We promote the use of language education to disseminate equitable access to all social, political, and professional opportunities to speakers of all languages in a given society.

Dr. Wong


Dr. Joanna Wong (Plenary Speaker) is an assistant professor in the Elementary Education Program at CSUMB. Her research addresses language and literacy education for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Dr. Wong has 14 years of experience in the Oakland Unified School District. She also co-founded Esperanza Elementary school, a Spanish-English dual-language immersion school.

Dr. Avineri

Dr. Netta Avineri (Introductory/Closing Speaker) is an Associate Professor in the TESOL/TFL program at MIIS, where she also serves as the Intercultural Competence Committee Chair. Her research, teaching, and advocacy focus on language and social justice, critical service-learning, narrative, community partnerships, interculturality, and heritage/endangered language pedagogy.

Dr. Ortactepe

Dr. Deniz Ortactepe (Panelist) is an Assistant Professor in the MA TESOL/TFL program at MIIS. She’s currently carrying out two social-justice related projects. Her “Social Justice in ELT” project funded by the US State Department takes place in Turkey with pre-service language teachers while her other project focuses on migrant students in Salinas, California.

Ms. Zaldivar

Ashley Zaldívar (Panelist) is a Spanish teacher and World Language Chair at All Saints Day School in Carmel, CA with over 10 years of professional teaching experience. She is a founding member of the All Saints Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and currently serves as the institution’s faculty representative to the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Gomez

Dr. Rafael Gómez Rodríguez (Panelist) is a Professor of Spanish at California State University, Monterey Bay. His teaching and research interests include service learning, Spanish for heritage speakers and social justice pedagogy. He recently published “Spanish Heritage Speakers, Service-Learning and Social Justice,” The Wiley International Handbook of Service-Learning for Social Justice.


Christina Yanuaria (Panelist) practices Friere’s radical pedagogy as an ESL instructor at City College of San Francisco: Education can never be neutral. Her service includes projects for empowering students and addressing the impact of white supremacy on language learning and instruction in higher education through professional development.