Featured Presenters – Biographies and Abstracts of Presentations
- Katy Arnett
- Kaleb Child
- Martina Bex
- Luisa Canuto
- Denis Cousineau
- Angelica Galante
- Catherine Ousselin
- Maria Del Carmen Rodriguez de France
Professor of Educational Studies and Faculty Advisor for Academic Accessibility, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Friday’s keynote)
Katy Arnett is a Professor of Educational Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. A former high school French teacher and Fulbright scholar, she has explored inclusive practices in a variety of language learning settings. She is the author of Languages for All: How to Support and Challenge Students in a Second Language Classroom (Pearson Education Canada, 2013) and, with co-author Renée Bourgoin, Access for Success: Making Inclusion Work for Language Learners (Pearson Education Canada, 2018).
Kwakiutl Educator and Director, Indigenous Education (Saturday’s keynote)
Gilakas’la, nugwa’am Musgamdzi. Gayutłan’lax Tsaxis, gayutłan’laxa Kwagʼuł. Kaleb Child (Musgamdzi) is a member of the Kwakiutl (Kwagiulth) First Nation and has over 20 years of experience in education in both teaching and administration in First Nations and BC public schools. In his leadership roles across communities, he is committed to equitable learning environments, an Indigenous vision for pedagogy, authentic learning connections for all learners, Indigenous language and culture revitalization, and strengthening rights-based relationships.
Kans Hiłile: “Making Things Right”: Perspectives for Indigenous Education (keynote)
Owner, The Comprehensible Classroom
Martina Bex is the Founder of The Comprehensible Classroom, whose curricula and training materials have been helping language teachers implement proficiency-oriented, comprehension-based language programs with confidence since 2010. Martina is internationally recognized for her leadership and expertise in the world language teaching profession as a teacher trainer and curriculum developer. A Spanish teacher by trade with experience in public and private schools and at the university level, Martina balances her work for The Comprehensible Classroom with the needs of her five young children, for whom she is the full-time caregiver. Martina has been published in The Language Educator and presents regularly at state, regional, and national conferences in addition to consulting with individual districts and organizations. Her newest project for supporting teachers is the Garbanzo App, an interactive library of stories in Spanish designed specifically with language classes in mind.
Assistant Professor of Teaching, University of British Columbia
Luisa Canuto is the Italian Language Program Director and an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of British Columbia where she has taught since 1994. As a Faculty Associate and Manager for UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, she developed numerous initiatives. Her research interests include the use of educational technologies in the classroom, the impact of service learning on students’ linguistic and metacognitive development, and curriculum program renewal and development.
Creating an Environment for Deeper Online Learning: Building and Maintaining Community and Social Presence
Positive social interactions among learners are key to developing their cognitive, metacognitive, and language skills. As both research and experience have shown, engaging learning activities — such as discussions, annotations of documents or videos, group tasks, and collaborative projects — help students to articulate their own cognitive process, build knowledge, and challenge and support each other’s ideas. Through an interactive mix of content delivery, guided reflection, and experiential techniques, participants will be introduced to some broad concepts and discuss ways of developing a mix of real-time, synchronous teaching activities and asynchronous course material that students can complete at their own pace. Participants will have an opportunity to collaborate with peers in small breakout groups to brainstorm viable experiential activities and develop their understanding of effective approaches to enhance teaching presence and support active learning in the online environment.
Denis Cousineau retired from teaching in January 2018. Since then, he’s been fully active as a CEFR expert throughout the country, and is working closely with Groupe Média TFO to support a major pedagogical change in the wonderful world of French as a second language (FSL) in all programs offered: French Immersion and all aspects of FSL (Core French and Extended French). He taught French Immersion and Core French for 32 years in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB). Since summer 2009, he’s been participating in a project, still underway, in Ontario regarding the impact of the CEFR on improved success of students learning French. He was the director of the DELF centre of the OCDSB. Over the last 10 years, the centre has tested almost 15,000 students for the DELF.
Le CECR : une pédagogie moderne et repensée (The CEFR: An Updated, Rethought Pedagogy)
The confidence of our second-language – and especially French as a second language – learners is leading us to rethink our teaching culture. The CEFR is a huge asset for everyone, but we must go beyond its descriptors. We must draw on its principles and general ideas to enable all learners to confidently learn and progress, especially when it comes to all oral skills. We will discuss, among other things, the concept of the action-oriented task, the creation of social confidence with regard to language, and the establishment of a pathway to progress. In fact, we will be talking about a redefinition of success.
Assistant Professor, McGill University
Angelica Galante is an Assistant Professor in Second Language Education at McGill University and Director of the Plurilingual Lab, where she collaborates with researchers and graduate students on the effects of plurilingual instruction on language learning. Her work has been published in important international journals (e.g., TESOL Quarterly) and handbooks on multilingualism (e.g., Interdisciplinary Research Approaches to Multilingual Education). Her website Breaking the Invisible Wall has pedagogical resources that can be adapted and implemented in the language classroom.
Implementing Plurilingual Instruction: Teacher and Student Perspectives
Recent research in second language education has repeatedly called for language pedagogy that is linguistically and culturally inclusive, but many teachers find implementation challenging. Some reasons for this include language policies that favour the use of one language only in the classroom and the lack of teacher professional development to implement change. This presentation will explore results of classroom research in English language teaching that support the need for plurilingual pedagogy. This study was a collaboration between a researcher and seven language teachers and their students (n = 129) in a university in Toronto. Their voices are presented in relation to the benefits of plurilingual pedagogy, the challenges of implementation, and how they were overcome. Results show that plurilingual pedagogy offers benefits that a monolingual approach may not: it enhances cognition, critical thinking, empathy, and language learning, among other factors. Moreover, teachers unanimously showed preference for plurilingual instruction compared to monolingual instruction. A discussion about the potential benefits and challenges in other language classrooms will follow this presentation.
Transforming Classes into Linguistically Inclusive Spaces: A Practice-Oriented Workshop
Besides English and French, Canada has over 200 languages, including many spoken by Indigenous peoples and immigrants. While language teachers are often expected to teach one language only in the classroom (or two in the case of bilingual programs), language pedagogy that fails to recognize the languages that students bring to class is inadequate and unproductive. Research shows that validating students’ languages and cultures in any language classroom has several benefits, including enhancing student engagement, among the many other affective and cognitive benefits. Moreover, engaging students in critical discussions of differences and similarities among languages and cultures — as well as power relations among languages in society — is important in preparing them for agency over their own language use. This practice-oriented workshop will provide examples of strategies such as translanguaging spaces, comparons nos langues, cross-cultural comparisons, and translation. Participants will work hands-on with these strategies and will leave the workshop with concrete ideas for transforming their own classes into linguistically inclusive spaces.
French Teacher and Curriculum Design/Technology Coach, Mount Vernon High School, Washington State
Catherine Ousselin, M.A., currently teaches French at Mount Vernon High School in Washington State. She is the president of the Washington Association for Language Teaching (WAFLT-WA). She is also a member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT). She serves as a regional representative for the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) and is its social media manager and resource curator, and the chair of the Technology Commission. She is an avid blogger and frequent workshop presenter on World Language curriculum development and technology integration. Catherine was a 2018 finalist for ACTFL “Teacher of the Year.”
Incorporating ACTFL’s Guiding/Core Principles and Global Competency (and the CEFR) into Technology
Considering a transition from grammar-based units to teacher-developed, proficiency-based thematic units? In search of meaningful feedback strategies, authentic resources, and ideas for interpretive and interpersonal communicative activities? Engage ACTFL’s Six Core Practices to create impactful and researched-supported units. Units, activities, and curated resources will be provided. The presentation will cover three units designed with the ACTFL’s “Keys to Planning for Learning” following the Core Practices that connect to World-Readiness Standards and the CEFR framework. Participants will interact with a thematic unit template, technology tools, and authentic curated resources that support communicative activities and assessments.
Technology Tools for All Three Modes of Communication
This session focuses on integrating Web-based tools, apps, and techniques for linguistic expression and assessment within global thematic units based on the TPACK, CEFR, NCSSFL-ACTFL, and AP frameworks. Participants will develop competencies and confidence on evaluating and incorporating engaging and meaningful tools into thematic units and assessing student performance. We will explore all three modes of communication through demonstrations, facilitated group work, and guided research. Participants will discover a variety of tools that highlight student-centred instructional strategies designed to motivate and involve all learners. Topics include Digital Storytelling, Social Media, and apps for World Languages.
Assistant Professor, University of Victoria
With over 35 years of experience in education, Maria Del Carmen Rodriguez de France acknowledges her privilege to live, learn, and teach on the land of the W̱SÁNEĆ, Lekwungen (Lək̓ʷəŋən), and SENĆOŦEN-speaking people. Carmen was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, and is a member of the Department of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria where she facilitates courses on Indigenous worldview, and education. Her research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Shifting Perspectives: Unlearning and Reframing
This session will address the importance of paying attention to language, and the values, beliefs, and messages we convey through our words. It will also invite reflection on how a shift in perspective ought to be a starting point when working towards naturalizing Indigenous knowledge within our work.
My Mother Used to Say… (How Proverbs Inform Our Worldview)
This session will offer opportunities to think about how specific ways of knowing are reflected through proverbs, refrains, and other popular sayings within a culture. Through examples, this session invites participants to consider these cultural expressions as vehicles to explore values, morals, and teachings from a variety of perspectives.