Languages Canada, held its 10th anniversary conference in the vibrant city of Toronto from February 19 to 21, 2018. The conference provided an opportunity for members and other stakeholders to meet, network, participate in leadership and professional development, all of which will help the sector grow and improve. It is a time when the Association reviews and reflects on the past and plans for the future. Over 240 delegates, including LC member representatives, stakeholders, government officials, NGOs, and international education service providers attended the event. The Association is proud to announce that this was the highest attended conference to date!
The conference opened with remarks by LC’s President, Cath D’Amico, who gave an overview of the association’s past year activities and presented the various committee reports. The participants thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Lionel Laroche’s keynote presentation - Bridging the Cultural Gap in the Language Classroom – which examined the impact of cultural differences on the language education learning environment and provided insights on how to channel cultural diversity into a source of creativity and innovation in the classroom. LC’s Executive Director, Gonzalo Peralta presented the biggest change to the association this year: the proposed change to membership criteria which will be rolled out in 2018. He also presented members with the association’s new direction for 2018.
This year’s conference theme was: 10th Anniversary: Reflection, Vision, Celebration. Plenary and break-out sessions exploring relevant themes and issues for 2018 took place and included several ground-breaking workshops by leaders from both public and private sectors. Over the two days, presentations addressed themes in key areas for the language education sector such as pedagogical learning, student experience and welfare, marketing and leadership, content for academic leaders as well as homestay and activity coordinators.
Key presentations included:
• Keynote Address: Bridging the Cultural Gap in the Language Training Classroom (Lionel Laroche, Multi-Cultural Business Solutions)
• Languages Canada International Business Development: Where to Next? (Sameer Ahmed, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service; Samuel Vetrak, StudentMarketing; Carolyn Bercu, Languages Canada)
• College Admissions: Improving Success of Private Language School Pathways (Nadia Ramseier and Steven Wood, Algonquin College)
• Survey on Agent Management within Schools and Institutions (David Parkinson and Dale Yellowlees, University of Saskatchewan; Anthony Stille, ESC; Gabriela Facchini, Sheridan College)
• Language education: the last and next 10 years (Samuel Vetrak)
• Presentation from the Homestay afternoon sessions
• Up in Smoke: Drug Use in the Workplace (Sundeep Gokhale and Ashley Brown, Sherrard Kuzz LLP)
The conference was supported by sponsors and contributors from all over Canada and abroad. Languages Canada is grateful for the support from Diamond sponsor guard.me International Insurance and other generous sponsors. A special recognition is deserved for the gold sponsor, iCentapp, who provided all the technical and logistical support for the creation of the conference app throughout the entire event. Silver sponsors included: Western Union Business Solution (WUBS), the British Council Canada, Higher Education Marketing, ISX and Paragon Testing. Bronze sponsors included: Canada Homestay Network, Inline Marketing, EDMISS, Phonebox, Wireless DNA Fido and FPP Media. Languages Canada also appreciates the support of WUBS, Sentio Global Education Network and ICEF for their continued support as partners of the association.
The event’s closing reception and gala dinner was sponsored by guard.me International Insurance and was a resounding success. Delegates had the pleasure of networking, mingling, listening to the sounds of a great local band, The Jade Monkeys, and enjoying a buffet dinner. The conference was followed with the Association’s Annual General Meeting for members.
To the conference committee and staff members who have worked hard to make this conference happen — thank you. We truly appreciate all you do to make every annual conference a meaningful and engaging event.