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Languages Canada 2020 Conference

13th Annual Conference
The Future in Focus

February 23-26, 2020
Sheraton Wall Centre, Vancouver BC


The following is a list of workshops offered at our next Annual Conference. More details will be added to this page as they become available. Stay tuned!

Three Concepts Driving a Wellness Initiative in EAP Programming

Anouchka Plumb, Manager, Languages Programs, Department of Continuing Education, University of Windsor

Grounded in the concepts of inspiration, movement and transformation, MindFlow is an EAP program feature familiarizing students with mindfulness techniques to promote optimal mental health practices. Preparing students for academic English language proficiency and equipping them with skills that strengthen mental rigour serve as important steps in building resiliency.

Best Practice in Teaching Language Learners with Diverse Abilities

Sue Priebe, Director, English as a Second Language International, Trinity Western University

This session explores best practice in addressing diverse learning needs of academic language learners, addressing issues surrounding identification, assessment and accommodation. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is proposed as a practical means to encourage inclusion for all students and to reduce stigma.

Beyond “English Only”: Creating Effective and Equitable Program Language Policy

Jennifer MacDonald, Head Teacher, ESL Programs, Dalhousie University

Often, “English Only” program policies are seen as the best way to maximize English use. However, research shows the advantages of a multilingual/plurilingual approach. Rather than banning students’ L1, policies which allow space for all the languages in a student’s linguistic repertoire can contribute to more effective learning. This presentation will include practical tips for developing and implementing new course policies with teachers and students.

Learning Distribution: Using Learning Metrics to Plan for Course Progress

Sara Davila, Learning Expert, Pearson English

Is your program designed with progress in mind? In this session, we will examine how to use learning metrics informed by the Common European Framework of Reference and Global Scale of English to identify specific learning distributions and create custom programs to consistently deliver measurable learning results.

The ICEF Agent Barometer 2019 Results

Chris Paredes, Business Development Manager, Western Canada, ICEF
Robin Garcha, Director, Business Development, Canada, ICEF

Since 2007, ICEF has partnered with i-graduate to conduct an annual survey on the opinions of education agents about the international education industry. The session will report on the latest findings of the 2019 ICEF Agent Barometer with a particular focus on those results most relevant to US and Canadian educators. The study uncovers the latest trends in student mobility and will address such questions as:

  • How many students do agents around the world recruit per year?
  • What are the trends?
  • Is there any market re-direction?
  • Is the attractiveness of study destinations changing?
  • How can education institutions market themselves more efficiently?

Representing Indigenous peoples

Simone Hengen, ESL Instructor, University of Regina

Marketing materials for language programs increasingly include photos of and information about Indigenous peoples of Canada. What should language program directors and marketers consider in order to represent Indigenous peoples in appropriate ways? This interactive presentation will explore respectful cultural representation of Indigenous peoples.

Insights into Western European Growth Markets – France, Italy and Spain

Tim Hopkins (Moderator), Clients and Communications
Laura Ballesteros, Education Trade Commissioner, Madrid
Paola Bucalossi, Education Trade Commissioner, Rome
Fevronia Novac, Education Trade Commissioner, Paris

In 2018, Canada welcomed a combined total of 37,990 international students from France, Italy and Spain, of which 7,100 studied at Languages Canada member institutions. Canada continues to welcome more and more international students from Western Europe, thanks to its high-quality education system and work integrated learning opportunities. Other contributing factors, such as Brexit and high youth unemployment rates across Europe, also play an important role in why Europeans look abroad for study and work opportunities. Come learn more about why you should consider exploring these markets in a session delivered by local Trade Commissioners in Europe.

Shifting student trends in markets new and old – Japan, Mexico and Russia

Megumi Akiyama, Education Trade Commissioner, Tokyo
Stéphanie Loiseau, Education Trade Commissioner, Moscow
Veronica Soto, Education Trade Commissioner, Guadalajara

Japan is traditionally among the top 3 sending countries to Languages Canada members; however, with a decreasing population and strong competition from other destinations, LC's presence in Japan must remain active in order to keep numbers up. Student numbers to LC members from Russia increased by 36% between 2017 and 2018, and the trend is expected to continue going up. Mexico, a record growth market for Canada, now presents new forms of opportunity for LC members. Find out why you should consider exploring these markets in a session delivered by Trade Commissioners who are in daily contact with local stakeholders.

How to Lead Change from Within

Seppy Masoodi, Manager, International Relations, NorQuest College

This presentation draws on the multifaceted role of instructors in today's world with a focus on leadership. It identifies the traits and requirements that can help teachers envision themselves as an accountable and inclusive leader. It also touches on the role of administrators in promoting and supporting instructors in their leadership role. Input from instructors is incorporated in this presentation.

Increasing Instructor Engagement with SLA Research: A Peer-led Approach

Angela Johnston, Head of Academic and Compliance, International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC)
Kelly Harnett, Director of Studies, ILAC Vancouver
Barbara Mendes, Director of Studies, ILAC Toronto

This workshop will present the 3-year evolution of an in-house professional development stream for ESL instructors aimed at fostering practical engagement with second language acquisition (SLA) research. Participants will analyze key recommendations for promoting guided-exploration of SLA content in their organizational context, as well as strategies for overcoming barriers to engagement and opportunities to enhance professional development in their institutions

Pedagogical Theory to Classroom Practice: Bridging the Gap

David Hazell, Director of Studies, English School of Canada
Paula Medina, Director of Academics, London Language Institute
Tetyana Vdovina, Academic Leader/Manager, ICEAP Toronto

For many TESL program graduates, their first post-TESL experience of classroom teaching, which Valeo and Faez (2013) state is a crucial period in their development as educators, will come in private sector institutions. This transition to the workplace and the classroom, however, highlights skills gaps that exist among graduates (Farrell, 2012, 2019; Valeo & Faez, 2013). Two panel members, experienced administrators from schools with accredited training programs, firstly identify the skills gaps that exist for new graduates when applying for positions and upon entry to a teaching post. Thereafter, two more panel members will focus on how administrators in private sector institutions address these skills gaps through in-service training and professional development. The audience will be invited to ask questions and respond to the points outlined by panel participants. The discussion will have relevance for administrators in all sectors, and TESL trainers and program managers.

Creating and Using Rubrics in a Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA) World

Catherine Rust-Akinbolaji, University College Dean and Assistant Professor of TESOL, Providence University College

Increasingly assessment in EAL is focused on portfolios. While these are valuable assessment tools, rubrics can be useful and meaningful partners in PBLA (Portfolio-Based Language Assessment). This workshop will involve analyzing rubrics, from beginner to ESP, for portfolio usage. Attendees will work together to complete a partially designed rubric which assesses student portfolios.

Instructor to Administrator: Four Perspectives

Ginny Chien, Dean, English Language Centre, Columbia College
Glenda Fish, Operations and Academic Manager, Trent University
Sheri Rhodes, Program Administrator, Mount Royal University
Angela Johnston, Head of Academic and Compliance, International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC)
Shaun Macleod (Moderator), Academic Director, Canadian College of English Language

How do you make the transition from instructor to academic manager or director, and how do you navigate the challenges that come with stepping into this new role? Moving into an administrative position is a common aspiration in many instructors’ career paths, but one that often comes with no road map or peers to guide you. Join a panel of instructors-turned-administrators from both the public and private sectors as they share their insights and experiences to help future academic leaders successfully make this career transition.

Mental Health Concerns Are Growing with the International Student Population

Christina Furtado, Account Manager, keep.meSAFE

This session will provide educators with the information they need to support students with mental health and addiction problems, discussing the warning signs, the importance of early recognition, and effective classroom strategies.

The Words You Can't Hear: Cultural Communication Differences - Aligning Global Competence Training and Language Learning

Molly Stern, Coordinator, Educational Products, AFS Intercultural Programs
John Taplin, President and CEO, Global Village Calgary

In this session, participants will learn about the Global Competence Certificate (GCC) education program and how it supports language learners. The presenters will uncover the benefits of global competence curriculum in an English Language Learner setting with a case study featuring Global Village Calgary and early adopter of the GCC, John Taplin, who will highlight his experience with the GCC and language learning. Participants will be invited to view a few of GCC modules that teach learners to tune in to all the other forms of communication that are taking place in an intercultural setting, and sample a few of the engagement activities that are a part of the GCC's program.

Kale & Massages Aren't Enough: Understanding the Cost of Caring

Jennifer Wilson, Managing Director, Canada Homestay Network

We may not be paramedics or police officers, but we have all dealt with the stress of caring for others, faced dwindling resources, and struggled with work/life balance in international education. Join us for an interactive workshop that goes beyond the usual self-care strategies to provide research-based tools and resources to support your work.

How Self-Taught Coders Can Change Schools

Ishmael Johnson, Centre Director, Stafford House Calgary

Frustrated by lineups of students waiting to speak with administrators, an amateur coder and developer created an online appointment system. This initial baby step has turned into a robust and comprehensive tracking system used internationally for thousands of students annually for all aspects of the student journey.

Context Matters: Choosing the Right Language Test

Jennifer Flasko, Content Development Lead, Test Operations, Paragon Testing Enterprises
Katharine Wallace, Scoring Lead, Test Operations, Paragon Testing Enterprises

There are many language tests that assess students’ English language abilities. Some assessments are discrete-point tests. Others engage examinees in tasks. A third type take an integrated, task-based approach. This presentation aims to increase participants' language assessment literacy and inspire critical evaluation of language testing methods used in different contexts.

Finding and Implementing a New Placement Test

Janet Zlotnik, Project Leader, Academic Support Planning, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
Pete Novak, Country Manager: USA/Canada, Cambridge Assessment English, a non-teaching department of Cambridge University

Finding and implementing a new placement test can be tricky. The presenters will describe the steps BCIT is going through in switching placement tests. They will start by describing the context, explain why a Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)-based placement test was chosen, and then discuss the criteria applied to the selection of Linguaskill. After going through an overview of Linguaskill, they will describe the piloting and what they have learned.

Computer-Delivered IELTS: Same IELTS, More Choice (including Coronavirus IELTS update

Sabiha Khuram and Mónica Aguirre, IELTS

This session will give participants an overview of computer-delivered IELTS. This new version of the IELTS test gives more choice to the test-taker, while retaining the same test format. Participants will: understand the benefits of Computer-Delivered IELTS; see examples of the computer-delivered test format; and gain access to preparation material & test tips. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding computer-delivered IELTS. This presentation will also highlight current arrangements being taken regarding IELTS testing due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

A Revised TOEFL iBT®? What's Up With That?

Marian Crandall, Associate Director, ETS Global Client Relations, ETS TOEFL

The TOEFL program has introduced changes to the TOEFL iBT test that offer a better testing experience and provide more information to score users. This session will discuss the research done to support these changes, how the changes can improve outcomes, and the resources ETS provides to support academic English instruction.

The Power of Content

Andrew O'Shea, Regional Sales Manager, National Geographic Learning

When students are interested they work harder, persist longer, and remember more accurately. Authentic, relevant and global content, incredible photography, fascinating stories, and inspiring ideas from National Geographic Learning and TED catch and hold students’ interest. This session will demonstrate how great content prepares students for academic success.

Visa and Immigration: How Today's Trends Are Impacting Canadian Language Schools

Uri Carnat, Director - Strategic Partnerships, ApplyBoard

In this presentation by ApplyBoard and a Canadian Partner School (TBC), participants will learn about the latest student visa and immigration trends. The discussion will focus on trends related to the country of origin; how trends are impacting language school enrollments across Canada; and forecasted trends and their potential impact, in order to help language programs to prepare.

Improving Success of Institution Pathways – A Two-Way Street

Gabriela Facchini, Manager, International Business Development and Partnerships, Sheridan College
Carolyn Bercu, Director, University Pathway Programs – Canada, EC English

LC members understand the importance of pathways to post-secondary education for international students. But at a time when international enrolment is at an all time high, what benefits are gained by public postsecondary institutions partnering with private instructions? This session will address:

  • Why public post-secondary institutions are looking to establish pathway agreements;
  • What private institutions need to do in approach a postsecondary institution;
  • The criteria public postsecondary institutions are evaluating in establishing pathway agreements; and
  •  Models of pathway agreements.

Around the World and Back Again: Employment Considerations for Employees Working Internationally

Sundeep Gokhale, Sherrard Kuzz LLP

Many Canadian language school employees will spend some time in other countries as a component of their job. How do the employment laws of Canada apply where an employee is abroad? This session will explore some areas of potential liability with an employee working internationally, and best practices to minimize risk. Topics will include:

  • Employee secondment: Key contractual considerations where an employee may be seconded or transferred to work in or out of Canada;
  • Compensation for travel and hours of work issues: Understand the obligations related to compensation for employee travel under provincial employment standards legislation and how to appropriately manage and record hours of work during employee travel periods;
  • Health and safety and workers compensation: Is an employer liable for injury that occurs internationally? How can employers take all reasonable precaution to protect against injury abroad?
  • Human rights and harassment: Considerations for managing and addressing complaints of discrimination and harassment that may arise in other jurisdictions.

Defense of French Programs in Quebec

Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director, Languages Canada

With major changes taking place in Quebec, French programs must position themselves as key players when it comes to attracting and retaining foreign students and workers. During this workshop, we will present Languages Canada’s strategy for 2020 as well as recent actions and partnerships. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their realities on the ground.

Training Session: How to Use Data-Driven Innovation to Promote Language Programs

Samuel Vetrak, CEO, BONARD

Being successful in today’s fast-paced, information-overload environment is challenging. To make quick but sound decisions (proactive as well as reactive), it is essential we understand every detail of our own businesses and how they perform in the language education marketplace.

Samuel Vetrak, CEO of BONARD, will share case studies and his own practical experience to demonstrate how market intelligence and analysis can be used as a tool to drive innovation and improve your institution’s marketing and sales results.  

Drawing on multiple data sources, including the Languages Canada’s Benchmarking Tool, which is available to all members, the Annual Report on Language Education in Canada, Global ELT data compiled by BONARD, and IRCC Data on Study Permit Holders, this training session will offer advice on how to use data sources most effectively, and the practical implications for product development and innovation.

Navigating the Languages Canada Accreditation Process

David Huebel, President, Orion Assessment Services
Frances Seaton, Auditor, Orion Assessment Services

Understanding standards and the accreditation process is essential for Languages Canada members. Having clear and concise information can not only help those in charge to run a compliant program, but also to avoid any misconceptions regarding the requirements and ensure smooth and stress-free accreditation audits. This workshop will help attendees gain a better understanding of the standards and accreditation process, while highlighting the most challenging areas for members. The workshop is highly interactive, with frequent opportunities to ask questions and receive feedback. Prior to the workshop, attendees are encouraged to review Languages Canada’s standard and Accreditation Manual.

Partners’ Panel: Language Education and Development Priorities in Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco and Aguascalientes

Emmanuel Carrillo Martínez, Rector, Universidad Technológica el Retoño, Aguascalientes
Guadalupe Cruz, International Programs Coordinator, EDUCAFIN, Guanajuato
Simon Madrigal, Director for Foreign Languages Learning Programs, Ministry of Education, Jalisco
Sandra Guzmán Gutiérrez, Specialist in Academic Innovation, North America, Ministry of External Relations of Government of Mexico

Languages Canada is pleased to welcome a delegation of senior officials from the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco and Aguascalientes to the 2020 Conference. The governments of all three states acknowledge that investment in language education is critical to the internationalization of higher education and research; attracting foreign investment; and equipping a skilled workforce for participation in the global knowledge economy. This session will share insights on government priorities and programs related to English, French and Spanish language education, and present opportunities for partnership with Canada.

The EduCanada Brand: A Powerful Tool to Compete on the Global Stage

Sasha Tremblay, EduCanada Brand Manager, Global Affairs Canada

Did you know the EduCanada Brand is a powerful tool, available to your institution in the global competition for top talent? Take advantage of a training presentation to become a Brand Authorized Institution and learn more about how to incorporate EduCanada’s logo and ready-to-go marketing materials in your institution’s marketing campaigns. Compete on the global stage with all the support available to you from the International Education Division at Global Affairs Canada.

Update on Canada’s International Student Program

Malcolm Eales, Director, Temporary Resident Program Delivery, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Mélanie Bergeron, Senior Program Advisor, Temporary Resident Program Delivery, International Students Program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

This presentation from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will provide the audience with an update on Canada’s International Students Program and International Education Strategy, tailored to the language education sector. The presentation will focus on:

  • The role of IRCC within Canada’s International Education Strategy;
  • IRCC’s latest data on international students;
  • Eligibility and admissibility requirements, including frequent refusal grounds for study permits processed outside Canada, with a case study of refusal rates in Vietnam;
  • Program integrity mechanisms - Biometrics;
  • and Various updates that affect language students, such as:
    • Pre-requisite courses;
    • Transition between level of studies;
    • Student Direct Stream.

Updates from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training

Monica Lust, Registrar and Executive Director, Private Training Institutions Branch, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Jamie Edwardson, Executive Director, Corporate Planning, International and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training

This session will provide updates from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training (MAEST) of British Columbia. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in small discussion groups with MAEST staff on pertinent issues for BC language programs, such as: education quality assurance; international education priorities; inspections and compliance; program applications; student data reporting; and the review of the Private Training Act regulations.