The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT) and the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association (OMLTA) are proud to co-host Languages Without Borders (LWB) 2023. This edition of Canada’s premier national professional development conference for second language educators and stakeholders will be held at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto from March 24–25, 2023. The pre-conference will take place on March 23.
The 2023 conference will be presented in a hybrid format. Most sessions will take place in person, and some will take place online. Some sessions may be recorded and added to the CASLT Learning Centre, enabling asynchronous as well as synchronous conference participation.
Time & Date
Westin Harbour Castle
1 Harbour Square
Mary Grantham O'Brien
Mary has been teaching German in university settings and investigating second language learning and teaching for over 25 years. At the University of Calgary, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in and on the German language and linguistics, applied linguistics and language pedagogy. Much of her research focuses on how language learners perceive and produce speech. Her recent collaborative work has looked at the role of social factors in listeners’ assessments of non-native speech. She has carried out her work in classrooms, in laboratories and online. In all of her research, Mary is interested in real-world implications and the extent to which research findings can and should affect how and what we teach in our language classrooms.
Kate Davis has the unique ability to find humour in any situation and offers creative solutions to defuse frustrations in both the workplace and at home. A hit comedian, who has opened for the likes of Seth Meyers, Bill Clinton, and Barbara Walters, Davis’ generous insight and hilarious presence is a powerful combination that helps organizations empower their staff with effective tools for managing stress and sustaining motivation.
Theatrically trained in England, Davis went from a successful run on the Canadian stage to the many stages of motherhood, before she found her passion for comedy. Now she is a 12-time Canadian Comedy Awards nominee, including a nomination for the prestigious Phil Hartman Award, and the star of her own hour-long comedy special on CTV and the Comedy Network. In addition, Davis has appeared on Breakfast Television, Star TV, Toronto 1, Prime, WTN, TVO, and CBC Radio’s The Debaters. She also stars, writes, and produces the hit web series “Best Before”, which won at the Canadian Comedy Awards, and was chosen for “Standup and Pitch” at the Just For Laughs Comedy Pro. In 2018, Davis joined the Debaters Live theatre tour with Live Nation.
On stage, Davis has performed at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, the Hubcap Comedy Festival, and the Kitchener Waterloo Comedy Festival, while also headlining across the country. During the 2008 season of Last Comic Standing, Davis’ sense of humour endured and carried her into the finals in Canada.
As a writer, Davis has been published in Today’s Parent and Mom and Caregiver magazines. She is also the author of two books, The Breastfeeding Diaries, which won the iParenting media award, and Second Best Mom: Stories, Tips, and Okay Advice. In 2019, Davis released her comedy album, House Arrest.
Director of French-Language Priorities
Elizabeth Hoerath is a provincial leader in French as a Second Language (FSL) and French-language education. As a former FSL teacher and instructional program leader, she specializes in literacy and numeracy strategies to support all learners in Core French, Extended French, and French Immersion programs. As an Education Officer and then Manager of FSL Programs and Policies at the Ontario Ministry of Education, she was the lead writer of numerous professional learning resources. She has also worked with 60 English-language schools to implement research-based improvement strategies and teacher professional learning such as “Including Students with Special Education Needs in FSL Programs,” Écouter pour apprendre, and Grammaire en action, as well as establishing the Ontario DELF Centre. From 2020 to 2022, Elizabeth worked with the Université de l’Ontario français as Director of Teacher Education Programs and volunteered as a Director and Treasurer for Canadian Parents for French Ontario. She is currently the Director of French-Language Priorities for the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Her passion for educational excellence and the importance of connecting research, policy, and practice continue to inform her work.
Modern Languages and French Immersion / Teacher
For nearly twenty years, Rubina Sharma-Mohan has worked as French teacher and department, school, and system leader for both Core and Immersion FSL programs in the York Region District School Board (YRDSB). She currently teaches FSL Part 1 Additional Qualification for the board and has worked as a Curriculum Consultant, supporting teachers in both Core and Immersion from grades 4–12. Rubina has led professional development in the areas of Student Wellbeing, Culturally Responsive and Reflective Pedagogy, and 21st Century Competencies for Deep Learning, at both the school and system level, in YRDSB.
Monica Tang has been teaching French Immersion for almost 20 years. She currently works with French teachers in graduate programs at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Through her doctoral research on the bilingual identity of French teachers in British Columbia, she created a new course for future and pre-service teachers at SFU that offers them linguistic and identity support. From kindergarten to graduate school, she seeks to help plurilingual teachers and students thrive and find joy in language learning. Monica was also interviewed by CASLT as part of the Languages Build video series.
French Program Coordinator
Shauna Néro is the Coordinator of the Provincial Network for Teachers of French Programs in British Columbia at the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs at Simon Fraser University. She is also the French Program Coordinator for the Mission School District. She has taught French Language, Social Studies, and Core French at the high school level and was a Vice-Principal in a dual-track immersion elementary school. She is also an author of FSL teaching modules for FrancoLab (TV5 Quebec) and Educastream (France). She teaches the “Designs for Learning: French as a Second Language” course, which covers a variety of teaching approaches and strategies for future teachers, at Simon Fraser University. She is currently completing her Master’s degree at Simon Fraser University. A former immersion student and the mother of a daughter in immersion, Shauna understands the challenges of learning an additional language in a minority setting. She is passionate about creating authentic, action-oriented learning experiences for French students to help them develop their essential, intercultural, and linguistic skills. Through her interactive workshops, she supports teachers at the provincial and national levels by blending theory and practice into the learning process — from planning to practice to assessment — to engage learners in acquiring French as a second language.
Program Facilitator, FSL, Classical and International Languages
Danielle Hunter is the FSL, Classical, and International Languages Facilitator with the Durham District School Board in Ontario. In 2021, Danielle was appointed as one of seven CEFR Consultants for the Council of Europe. During her 20 years as an educator, she has taught Core French and French Immersion at both the elementary and secondary levels. Danielle has co-authored many published resources on the CEFR and the Action-Oriented Approach. Most recently, she was the lead author of CASLT’s Action-Oriented Approach Handbook. Danielle has co-presented at the Council of Europe in France and was part of the provincial writing team for the revised FSL Ontario Curriculum. Danielle holds an M.Ed. from the University of Toronto in Curriculum and Teacher Development.
Tamara Sorenson Duncan
Tamara Sorenson Duncan is an assistant professor at Carleton University. Her research focuses on bilingual development in diverse populations. To date, this work has included children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, children with developmental language disorder, and children with autism spectrum disorder. She is a co-author of numerous publications, including “Home language environment and children’s second language acquisition: The special status of input from older siblings” (2020) and “How does maternal education influence the linguistic environment supporting bilingual development in child L2 learners of English?” (2020). Tamara has led popular workshops such as “Bilingualism and students with ASD: A world with possibilities” (a webinar for Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority) and “Language development in children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds: What does it look like and why does it matter?” (a webinar for Speech-Language & Audiology Canada). Tamara was also interviewed by CASLT as part of the Languages Build video series.
French Immersion, Student Literacy Support Teacher
Kim Lockhart is an elementary French Immersion, Student Literacy Support Teacher in Kingston, Ontario. She is a strong advocate for students with reading disabilities in Second Language Programs. For the past four years, Kim has been using a structured literacy approach to reading with her FSL students in both a whole class setting (Tier 1) and in small groups (Tier 2). She has her Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator certificate, has completed several online Science of Reading courses, and has adapted this approach for her second language learners. In 2015, Kim earned her M.Ed. from Queen’s University, where she specialized in instructional practices that support students with reading difficulties in French Immersion. In her spare time, Kim volunteers with the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston (LDAK), the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) of Ontario, and Family and Children’s Services of Kingston. She also provides workshops and webinars for parents/guardians and educators across the province. In 2019, Kim was awarded “One of the Top 50 Influential Alumni in 50 Years” at Queen’s Faculty of Education. She continues to advocate fiercely for equitable access to evidence-based literacy instruction for students in French Second Language programs across the country.
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