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Maria Ellison

Universidad de Oporto

Maria Ellison is Assistant Professor of didactics of languages at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto (FLUP). She holds a degree in primary education (Bath College of Higher Education now Univ. Bath Spa), an MA in TESOL (Univ. Manchester) and a Ph.D in didactics of languages (FLUP). She teaches about CLIL on pre-service masters’ degrees in teaching foreign languages and the doctoral programme in language sciences at FLUP.

Her main areas of expertise and interest are: CLIL; reflective practice in teacher education; action research in pre-service teacher education; teaching English as a foreign language to young learners (primary-aged); academic language and literacies development; the affective dimension in teaching and learning.

Xavier Gisbert da Cruz

Asociación Enseñanza Bilingüe

Licenciado en Filología Francesa por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid y Catedrático de Francés desde 1981.

Ha sido Consejero de Educación en la Embajada de España en Londres, Director del Centro Regional de Innovación y Formación “Las Acacias”, Director General de Mejora de la Calidad de la Enseñanza de la Consejería de Educación de la Comunidad de Madrid, Director General de Evaluación y Cooperación Territorial en el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte y Consejero de Educación de la Embajada de España en Washington.

En la Comunidad de Madrid ha sido responsable del desarrollo de la enseñanza bilingüe en educación primaria, del diseño y la implantación de la enseñanza bilingüe en la etapa de secundaria, de la gestión del programa de auxiliares de conversación, de la formación del profesorado y del desarrollo de una formación específica para el programa bilingüe.

Dirigió el Congreso EICE 2016 y es Director de los Congresos Internacionales de Enseñanza Bilingüe CIEB. Es autor de diversas publicaciones y ha impartido un gran número de ponencias y conferencias. En la actualidad es Presidente de la Asociación Enseñanza Bilingüe y Vicepresidente de Profesionales por la Educación Internacional.

Juan Antonio Solís Becerra

Universidad de Murcia

Magdalena Custodio Espinar

Universidad Comillas

Magdalena Custodio Espinar is a PhD in Education by Universidad Complutense Madrid (UCM). ‘Premio Extraordinario de Doctorado en Educación UCM’, she graduated with honours from UCM and has two Master’s Degrees in Management and Leadership of Schools from Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR) and Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from Universidad Camilo José Cela (UCJC). She was Technical Advisory Teacher for the Regional Ministry of Education of Madrid, Spain.

Magdalena has extensively published her investigations in indexed scientific journals and reputed publishing houses and has been invited as a visiting scholar in prestigious universities, such as the University of Granada and the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain and Yokohama City University in Japan. She has also provided in-service teacher training and initial teacher education in numerous courses and collaborated as a consultant and author with Pearson.

After 20 years teaching in Primary, she is currently a professor at Facultad de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Department of Education Research Methods and Evaluation, Universidad Pontificia Comillas. Research interests include teacher training, didactic programming, CLIL, FLT, ELT, ICT and coteaching.

Nilda Aguirre

National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)

Throughout her career as an educator, Nilda Aguirre has been driven to improve outcomes for English Learners through the use of best practices, cutting edge strategies, community involvement and advocacy. As the Executive Director for the National Association for Bilingual Education, she will continue to support NABE’s mission of advocating for educational equity and excellence for bilingual/multilingual students in a global society.

Having served as a classroom teacher, administrator, and professional development consultant, Nilda has a distinguished career as an educator. She has developed innovative curriculum embedded with best practices for ELs and strategies for Gifted and Talented ELs, and was the National Director for Project GOTCHA©, a Title VII, Academic Excellence Program awarded by the United States Department of Education for Gifted and Talented English Learners. She has designed and implemented professional development programs for school systems in the US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Europe. Nilda has also authored numerous publications, including curriculum guides for various state education agencies, newspaper and magazine
articles, and several book chapters.

Ms. Aguirre holds an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Supervision and Leadership, Master’s Degree in Special Education, Gifted and Talented, and is certified in ESOL, Multicultural Studies, Secondary Education, Curriculum Development, Cultural Competency. Nilda is proficient in Spanish and English.

María Carreira

Asociación Americana de Profesores de Español y Portugués

María Carreira is the Executive Director of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. AATSP is the largest and oldest language-specific professional association with almost 10,000 members, and many non-member constituencies (corporate, academic, community, legislative, etc.).

Carreira, Emerita Professor, taught Spanish linguistics at California State University, Long Beach for over 30 years and co-founded the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA, where she served as Co-Director for 16 years. Most recently, she has served on the ACTFL Board and co-created The Heritage Language Exchange (, a site for and by teachers of heritage languages. Professor Carreira has published extensively on U.S. Spanish, immigrant languages, and on heritage language pedagogy, and is a co-author of four college-level Spanish textbooks as well as being a co-author of Voces: Latino Students on Life in the United States. Professor Carreira has a B.S. in Math and Computer Science from Loyola University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Born in Cuba and immigrating first to Spain and then to the United States at the age of 11, Carreira is a heritage speaker of Spanish. Having benefited from the wisdom and support of many talented and dedicated teachers throughout her life, she has a profound belief in the power of education to transform lives. This belief, along with her research on language vitality and immigrant languages in today’s interconnected world, will guides her work.