Cultural differences cover a wide range of values and behaviors and cross-cultural communication and understanding is key to successful interactions in our communities. To avoid conflicts and recognize possible misunderstandings and miscommunication, one must first seek to identify the differences that are causing the conflict and then decide how best to find a solution.
It is our mission to provide a powerful framework for developing cultural and linguistic competence for all who work with foreign-born children and adults in order to increase productivity by bridging the culture gap in our ever-changing environment.
BYRON PETER PALLS, PhD Author
Byron Palls immigrated to the United States soon after completing his secondary education in Athens at the Photopoulou Gymnasium. He volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army and spent his tour of duty with the 4th Observation Battery (Artillery) in northern Italy, under NATO, an area that proved to be an ideal base for travel throughout Europe.
Upon his return to the United States, he worked his way through school in different food establishments and eventually became the Food Service Supervisor and Catering Manager of the Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, all the while attending classes part time. He was graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish/French and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Spanish/French Literature from the University of Kansas; he finally became a full-time student at Florida State University and earned a Doctor or Philosophy degree in Spanish literature with a minor in French literature; his dissertation (“La evolución de la novelística de Antonio Ferres”) was directed by the well known hispanist Dr. José Ángeles of the University of Valencia, Spain.
Over the years, he has taught courses in English, Latin, Modern Greek, Spanish (etymology,language, and literature), comparative literature, literary theory and Western civilization at different institutions of learning, his most recent posts being at the University of Tampa and the Berkeley Preparatory School.
Prior to Cultural Portraits: A Synoptic Guide (Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2008), he authored Intermediate Greek Reader and Grammar Review (Athens: Kontos, 1971)—a second-year college reader–and several critical articles on Spanish literature, published in Spain, Mexico and the United States. He has just finished Cultural Connections, a game that promotes encyclopedic knowledge about the 20 Spanish-speaking countries of the world, intended for use in Social Studies and Spanish classes at the secondary education level in the U.S., but also of great entertaining and edifying value in the home.
As Director of International Studies at Berkeley, he developed and directed study-abroad and educational programs in Argentina, Spain, China, Ecuador, France, Greece, Mexico and Russia (the latter unrealized due to insufficient student interest–parental concerns for safety); a few of these courses were awarded college credit by U.S. institutions of higher learning. Cultural Portraits is the product of research-based information, gathered over a period of five years, which led Dr. Palls to visit some 45 countries on five continents. He has also been instrumental in the development of a Hellenic Studies program at St. Petersburg College-Tarpon Spring, FL campus, where students may take courses in Greek Mythology, Greek Culture, Greek Philosophy and a new course in Biblical Greek–the lingua franca of eastern Mediterranean at the time of Christ.
Among his honors are: membership in the Cum Laude and Sigma Delta Pi honor societies, the Wershow Award (for his contributions in the field of foreign language education in Florida), and inclusion in a number of “Who’s Who” publications (i.e., Men of Achievement, International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, Dictionary of International Biography, Who’s Who of Greek Origin in Institutions of Higher Learning in the U.S. and Canada, The Cambridge Registry, Personalities of the South, et al.).
He is fluent in English, Greek and Spanish and has a working knowledge of French and Italian. He is a member of the American Association of University Professors and the North American Shrine; he has served as President of the Wichita International Association and the American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture; and he frequently volunteers for a number of professional, civic and philanthropic organizations.
BEA PALLS Consultant
Bea is the former Supervisor of Foreign Languages and ESOL for both Hernando County and Pasco County School Districts in West-Central Florida. She holds a BS degree in Elementary Education and Spanish from the U. of Western Connecticut, an MS in Secondary Education and in TESOL from the U. of Central Connecticut; she earned her Educational Leadership certification at the U. of South Florida. She has taught foreign languages, ESOL, curriculum and methodology through the graduate level, and has served on several state committees that developed both policy and pedagogical documents. She was named by the Commissioner of Education as a Resource on the Florida Technical Advisors Directory for ESOL &World Languages, and is engaged as a Senior National Education Consultant by Santillana USA, Textbook and Professional Development Divisions. She is Vice-President of B&B Educational Consultants, Inc.
Bea has served as an Evaluator for the Infusion Model of ESOL Pre-service Education for several Florida universities, has co-authored, both in-presence and on-line, ESOL Training for Administrators & School Guidance Counselors, and is the Lead Trainer for both courses. She has provided various ESOL, Foreign Language and Cross-Cultural training and workshops in Florida, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Connecticut, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, California, Mexico City, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the Department of Defense Education Agency (DODEA) in Washington, DC. and was invited to deliver keynote speeches for national conferences in both Costa Rica and Venezuela. She has worked with Florida Atlantic University, the University of South Florida, Bethune University and Miami University at Ohio to integrate ESOL effective teaching and learning competencies into the undergraduate programs that prepare future teachers to work with diverse populations and has presented at numerous state, national and international conferences. She has been an outside consultant for the design and implementation of Elementary Foreign language programs as well as Newcomers programs.
She was a co-founder of FFLA (Florida Foreign Language Association, Inc.) and was elected to the office of President in 1998. She also served as President of FABES (Florida Association of Bilingual and ESOL Supervisors), FLAME, (Foreign Language Administrators and Managers of Education) and of the SLCA (Sanibel Leadership Conference Association). She has served on the Executive Boards of FFLA, SCAAF and FAISA. She was named the Outstanding Administrator of the Year in Pasco (1994). Under her leadership, Pasco County was one of five districts in the United States to be recognized by the President and the Secretary of Education for designing stellar programs for Hispanic students. In recognition of her many contributions to the profession, she was presented the Wershow Award, Florida’s most distinguished state award for leadership in World Languages. Bea was recognized as the 2011-2012 Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.
In June, 2011, in honor of the co-founder and president of the Sanibel Leadership Association, Inc., Beatrice K. Palls, who has committed her career to building a community of educators who value English Language Learners, their families, and the educators who serve them, the Executive Board established the Bea Palls Diversity Educator Award which will be presented in perpetuity each year at the annual conference.