With the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has come to play a vital role in language classrooms. As part of our mission to support second language teachers and teaching throughout Canada, CASLT is hosting a series of Online Professional Learning webinars exploring the role of technology in language teaching and learning.
Connection is an essential force in all our lives. As language teachers, being part of a community of practice can combat isolation and provide opportunities to share ideas, perspectives, and solutions. Whether you’re just beginning a teaching career or about to retire, connecting online can expand opportunities for learning, collaboration, and professional development. This interactive panel session will explore current research on mentorship and communities of practice, strategies for combatting isolation, and best practices for starting and maintaining online communities of practice.
International Languages Department Head
Jennifer Francis’s French language learning began in ballet class at age 5 with pliés and continued in FSL from grades 4–12, just like most of her students. She graduated from the University of Alberta with her B.Ed. in 1994 with a major in French. With 27 years of teaching experience in both junior and senior high FSL, she currently teaches at Strathcona High School in Edmonton, where she also serves as the Department Head for International Languages. Jennifer is passionate about building relationships with her students and ensuring that French language learning is vibrant, authentic, and engaging for them. Jennifer created and maintains the FSL Teachers of Alberta Facebook group. She loves to collaborate with colleagues both within her school and district as well as online. She is always seeking new and innovative teaching resources and methods to bring into her French classroom.
Adam Kaszuba is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. After becoming an Ontario Certified Teacher in 2018, he worked as a French second language (FSL) teacher in Vietnam, where he enjoyed developing a practice based on plurilingual and cross-curricular approaches. For his doctoral research, he is exploring the use of communities of practice in language teacher education.
Mimi Masson is a second language teacher and teacher educator. She has taught French and English as a Foreign Language (FFL/EFL) as an elementary, junior high school, and adult teacher in Japan and Canada. She has worked in both the private- and public-school sectors. Currently, she works as a part-time professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, where she is cohort lead of the Second Language Education Cohort (cL2c) in the Teacher Education program. Mimi’s research uses equitable teacher-led approaches to professional learning to support Canadian French as a Second Language (FSL) teachers to develop their professional identity, engage in professional risk-taking, and foster leadership skills. In her work, she uses arts-based research methodologies and applies critical perspectives, such as antiracist and anti-oppressive education, to FSL pedagogy and research.
French Program Coordinator
Stephanie Jackson started her career as a teacher of French Second Language, English Language Arts, and Technology before becoming an FSL consultant at the Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE) at Edmonton Public Schools. As their current Program Coordinator of French Programs, Stephanie supports local, provincial, national and international educators and administrators in second language and immersion programs by helping them see the potential to enrich their classrooms with technology. She has been a contributor, author, and project coordinator for many teacher and student resources. Stephanie’s sessions focus on user-friendly technologies that teachers can implement to increase engagement and encourage authentic communication in the additional language classroom.