Interested in updating your classroom bookshelves with culturally relevant and responsive materials? Novels and picture books are great resources to help your students think critically. The FSL Disrupt team has curated a list of teacher-approved texts and novels that our increasingly diverse secondary and elementary learners have found engaging, identity-affirming, and thought-provoking. In this session, teachers will learn about the FSL Disrupt project, gain access to resources via our website, and listen to testimonials and book reviews from teachers currently engaged in the work of diversifying and centring texts that focus on Joy and Excellence in Core French classrooms. As the session unfolds, we will divide into dedicated breakout sessions catering to grades 4–8 (elementary) and 9–12 (high school) educators. Take part in this interactive workshop by reading a book and sharing your review on its appropriateness with fellow FSL teachers. Check out any of the novels on the FSL Disrupt website and visit the resources page from previous book club meetings to see what this learning looks like!
This session will be useful to any language teachers who work with beginner-level students starting out in the target language.
Destreaming and Transitions Teacher
Amanda Cloutier, currently the Destreaming and Transitions Teacher at her school, has dedicated five years so far to teaching. Her educational journey encompasses multiple departments, club leadership, team management, field trips, and conference facilitation. Amanda actively encourages students to become engaged members of their school community. With a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from the University of Ottawa, Amanda’s passion lies in improving French as a Second Language (FSL) programs. In 2021, she received the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) Teaching Award in the Beginning Teacher category, highlighting her commitment to educational excellence. Amanda’s idea for FSL Disrupt evolved from her desire to empower FSL teachers nationwide. It serves as a platform for educators to critically assess their practices, fostering intentional changes for the enhancement of FSL classes. She is deeply grateful for the educators who have joined this journey, transforming it into a space for collaborative professional growth.
Course Director and Practicum Facilitator
Mandisa Bromfield is course director and practicum facilitator in the Faculty of Education at York University’s Collège Glendon. She has taught in a variety of roles within the Toronto District School Board for more than 20 years. She has also developed, written, and reviewed Afrocentric curriculum, and was a teacher at the Africentric Alternative School, the first publicly funded Afrocentric school in Canada. Mandisa holds an MA from OISE/University of Toronto, for which her research explored her role as a non-Indigenous person working in urban Indigenous spaces. Since French language instruction has always been a great passion, Mandisa works to fuse anti-racism and culturally relevant and responsive pedagogies with French language learning.
Teacher-Librarian; Course Director/Practicum Facilitator
Karen Devonish-Mazzotta has been teaching French for 27 years with the Toronto District School Board. She has a Master’s degree 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 2021, Karen received the prestigious Canadian Parents for French Ontario McGillivray Award in recognition of her leadership and commitment in promoting the development of French Second Language learning in Ontario. She has an active schedule as an Additional Qualifications (AQ) 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 French as a Second Language Teacher Candidate cohort.
PhD Candidate, York University
Marika Kunnas, a dedicated PhD Candidate in York University’s Faculty of Education, is a certified FSL teacher with experience in Core French and French Immersion. Her research expertise lies in French programs and equity matters. Her Master’s thesis explored equity issues in Toronto’s French immersion policies, and her current doctoral work centres on racially minoritized student experiences in these programs. Marika’s research interests encompass second/additional language acquisition, race, decolonization, and equity, reflecting her commitment to challenging educational norms and fostering inclusivity, equity, anti-racism, and anti-colonialism in education. She joined FSL Disrupt through Mimi, excited to collaborate with fellow FSL professionals in integrating research into practice. Marika aims to make French programs more equitable and enjoyable for all students, aligning with her vision for a more inclusive educational landscape.
Assistant Professor, Université de Sherbrooke
As a plurilingual speaker of English, French, Japanese, Spanish, and rudimentary Anishinaabe, Mimi Masson has translated her passion for learning about languages and cultures into an 18-year teaching career in English and French as an Additional Language. She has worked in both the public and private sectors as a teacher, trainer, and curriculum developer, in Japan and Canada, across K–12, higher education, and professional contexts. Mimi is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education at the Université de Sherbrooke. Her research focuses on language teacher identity development via anti-oppressive and anti-racist education. She specializes in using critical discourse analysis and arts-based research methodologies.
French Immersion Teacher
Asha Nagpal teaches French Immersion with the Peel District School Board. Asha is passionate about integrating culturally responsive and relevant pedagogies in French Immersion programming, specifically in the Primary and Junior divisions. She is excited to collaborate with FSL Disrupt, and to begin an elementary chapter, to meet the needs of students marginalized by the education system in the French Immersion program.