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.
Language doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so why should our language classrooms? Connecting language students to the real world in authentic and meaningful ways can be a highly motivating way to encourage learning. In 2020, the recipients of two of CASLT’s Research and Special Initiatives Grants set out to explore different ways to connect their students to the outside world. Karen and Serena explored the development of intercultural understanding and awareness fostered among students participating in a virtual “Web Pals” language exchange. Laun and Ashleigh had their students interview fluent French speakers for a podcast to inspire them to be more engaged. Join our panel discussion to learn more about each of these projects and how you can implement their strategies in your own classroom.
The session will recorded and posted on the CASLT CoLab afterwards.
French Immersion teacher
Laun Shoemaker is a Kindergarten French Immersion teacher at St. Matthew’s Elementary in Newfoundland and Labrador. His teaching practice successfully incorporates the “6Cs” — creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, citizenship, and character. As a classroom teacher for the past 14 years, Laun has connected more than 300 of his own learners with community artists and artisans in a wide spectrum of disciplines. Bringing the wider world into his students’ lives has built community, inspired innovation, developed cultural awareness and understanding, instilled empathy, and increased awareness for physical and mental health.
French Immersion teacher
Ashleigh Hudson is a Grade 4 French Immersion teacher at Vanier Elementary in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Ashleigh is a 2020 Prime Minister’s Award Winner. She holds a Master’s degree in Technology Education and is passionate about technology integration in curriculum areas, especially French second language. She enjoys participating in activities that engage her students to learn, using technology to create something. Her students regularly make coding projects, videos, and podcasts.
Teacher-Librarian; Course Director/Practicum Facilitator
Karen Devonish-Mazzotta has been teaching FSL for 26 years with the Toronto District School Board. She has an M.A. in Second Language Learning from the University of Toronto. As a reviewer for the Ontario Ministry of Education, Karen has conducted Equity and Bias checks for several curriculum documents in both English and French. In addition, Karen has an active schedule as an Additional Qualifications instructor for various providers in Ontario. Presently Karen is a Teacher-Librarian with the Toronto District School Board and serves as a Course Director/Practicum Facilitator with York University’s Faculty of Education FSL Teacher Candidate cohort.
Core French teacher; French as a Second Language Specialist
Serena Quintal is an Elementary Core French teacher and a French as a Second Language Specialist with the Peel District School Board in Ontario. She recently graduated with an M.A. in Language and Literacies Education at the University of Toronto. In her thesis dissertation, she explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Core French programs in Ontario and investigated the benefits of collaborative professional development in fostering teacher agency among FSL educators. Serena facilitates workshops and creates resources to support Core French teachers with a focus on effective program planning, fostering plurilingualism, and integrating digital tools to support learning.
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.