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15th Annual Conference


in a Changing Landscape

March 27-30, 2022

The Westin Ottawa Hotel

15th Annual Conference


in a Changing Landscape

March 27-30, 2022

The Westin Ottawa Hotel


Browse the workshops, presentations and sessions offered at the Languages Canada 15th Annual Conference. More details will be added to this page as they become available. Stay tuned!

Academic Excellence Stream

New Normals: Teaching and Learning Innovations

Dr. Ken Beatty, TESOL Professor, Anaheim University

Times of stress in society are known to produce political, pedagogical, and technological innovations. Sometimes, these innovations are temporary solutions that disappear with the problems that inspired them. Other times, innovations become part of the fabric of everyday life. This presentation examines new models, tools, and attitudes around teaching and learning languages: Models include completely online and hybrid classroom models; tools include social media platforms that accommodate different forms of interaction and learning opportunities, and attitudes re-think such ideas as teacher, student, and parent roles, strategies for shifting responsibility for learning to students, and a re-thinking of assessment. Overarching concerns include teachers' and administrators’ engagement with digital technologies that make new learning possible.

Putting Quality First in Online Language Education Management

Dr. Jennifer MacDonald, Director, Department of English Language Studies, Dalhousie University.

Kate Morrison, Academic Services Manager and CELTA Tutor, Saint Mary’s University Language Centre-TLC.

Online, hybrid and blended modes are here to stay, for the accessibility, cost and learning benefits they offer. Ensuring high quality in online programming is essential to maintaining the reputation of the Canadian language education sector. This talk will present lessons learned through the transition to online and hybrid modes of language instruction.

Quality Assurance Best Practices

Valerie Kilgour, Wilfrid Laurier University

Julian Inglis, University of Guelph

In this session, the Co-Chairs of the Quality Assurance committee will provide a brief overview of the quality assurance framework, including proposed changes to the Languages Canada standard that will be voted on in the upcoming AGM. The session will also involve guided discussion on some key areas of the QA framework that impact the day-to-day management of language programs such as instructor hiring and academic leader qualifications. The QA framework is one of Languages Canada’s most valuable intellectual assets. This session is for any member who wants to gain a better understanding of the framework and ensure that they are getting maximum benefit from it.

Challenges of A Covid Era Language School Administrator

Paul Denman, Associate Director Compliance, Global University Systems - Canada Colleges

Roberta Murino, Campus Manager, The Language Gallery - Canada

Hannah Pyo, EAP Program Coordinator, Toronto School of Management

This interactive workshop will focus on two critical areas that administrators face:

  1. Teacher Qualifications- finding the right teacher for the job in the current environment.
  2. Virtual Management- keeping teachers motivated and engaged.

Participants will then discuss solutions and share experiences and conclusions for effective program management.

IELTS – Secure Results in an Uncertain World

Stephen Carey, Head of Relationship Management, IELTS, British Council

Dr. Sabiha Khuram, Account Manager, IELTS, British Council Canada

This presentation will focus on ensuring that all organisations using IELTS scores are aware of the opportunities to securely receive or verify IELTS results with our free IELTS Results Services. Detecting and preventing fraud has never been more important, and we are keen to make everyone aware of how we can support the integrity of admissions processes. We will also have the opportunity to discuss the upcoming IELTS Academic Online, highlighting its robust validity, reliability and security features, as well as answering any questions you may have at this time.

English Language Testing for a TikTok Generation

Jesus Gomez, Regional Development Manager, Pearson

Assia Hamdane, Director, Pearson Test of English - PTE, Pearson

Join the PTE Canada team in a run through of the recently launched PTE Academic Online test. With PTE Online, test takers can take the test at home, in an office or in any other quiet private place. PTE Academic Online uses the exact same test content, scoring and format as PTE Academic in a test center.

An Introduction to the National Geographic Learning Online Placement Test

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

Experience our holistic approach to placement that offers an adaptive test, auto-collection of speaking samples, and a skill-specific Score Report for each test-taker. With our placement test learners confidently begin their journey toward real-world success with placement into levels correlated to the Common European Framework of Reference.

Leadership Stream

Brazil's Ministry of Education – Goals for Language Education, Mobility, and Internationalization

Wagner Boas de Souza, Secretary of Higher Education of Brazil

Languages Canada has long-standing cooperation with MEC, primarily through the Languages Without Borders (LwB) program that has generated several bilateral partnerships between Brazilian and Canadian postsecondary institutions for the teaching and learning of English, French and Portuguese. We look forward to building on this foundation of partnership during the conference, through the signature of a renewed cooperation agreement between LC and MEC, and discussions to identify priority project opportunities for 2022 and beyond.

The Secretary’s remarks will be complemented by a more in-depth session on the Internationalization Plan currently under development by the Secretariat of Higher Education, in collaboration with Smrt English and the Andifes LwB Network, which emphasizes the importance of language education capacity-building to enable internationalization.

Canada's International Education Strategy – Where Are We Now?

Rachel Lindsey, Director, Public Affairs and Operations, Languages Canada (Moderator)

Sreemoyi Sanyal, Deputy Director, International Education Division, Global Affairs Canada

Marc LeBlanc, Senior Government and International Relations Officer, Universities Canada

Alain Roy, Vice-President, International Partnerships, Colleges and Institutes Canada

The Government of Canada launched it's 2nd 5-year International Education Strategy in 2019, with three primary objectives: encourage Canadian students to gain new skills through study and work abroad opportunities; diversify the countries from which international students come to Canada and their location of study within Canada; and increase export opportunities for Canadian education institutions. To achieve these objectives, targeted investments were planned to improve Global Affairs Canada's digital marketing efforts; to modernize systems at IRCC and improve student visa pathways; and to establish an outbound mobility program for Canadian postsecondary students. While the pandemic has been a speedbump for international education, the objectives of the IES remain important for Canada, and certain elements, such as attracting international students to regions of Canada suffering significant labour shortage, are more important than ever. This panel will share updates on progress towards the objectives of the IES from GAC, IRCC and Colleges and Institutes Canada, as well as insights into how the goalposts of the IES may have shifted.

Concurrent Roundtable Meetings between LC Members and Members of Parliament from the Four Regional Liberal Caucuses (Western, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic)

LC members will sit down with members of Parliament to discuss how we can work together to build a more prosperous, vibrant, and diverse Canada. We will explore the role of English and French language education in:

  • supporting Canada’s economic recovery;
  • meeting immigration targets;
  • building a productive workforce; and
  • contributing to Canada’s international education and tourism sectors.

Easier Said Than Done: Building Resilience in Hard Times

John Taplin, Board Chair, Global Village, Victoria

Participants are invited to explore how language program resilience can be furthered in homestay and youth projects, team building and wellness practices. These are among the themes of John Taplin's book, 'Easier Said Than Done: Adventures in the Language Business', which will be published in Spring, 2022 and introduced in this session.

Language for Internationalization: The Brazilian Ministry of Education, Languages without Borders network and Smrt English

Wagner Vilas Boas de Souza, Secretary of Higher Education, Ministry of Education of Brazil

Paulo Silva, CEO, Smrt English Brazil

Waldenor Moraes, Vice President, Language Without Borders Network, National Association of Rectors (ANDIFES)

This session will showcase the new Internationalization Plan designed by the Secretariat of Higher Education and Smrt English, within the partnership between the Brazilian government and Languages Canada, with the support of the ANDIFES Languages without Borders Network.

The plan focuses on 3 areas of cooperation: language learning opportunities; mobility; and research. The first phase of the plan – language learning – will be launched in April 2022 and will support capacity-building of English language teachers within Brazilian federal universities through partnerships with Canadian language education providers. Subsequent phases of the plan – mobility and research – will also be discussed during this session, examining the priorities for MEC in these areas and opportunities for engagement between Brazilian and Canadian higher education institutions.

LOA Verification System Launch

Diego Sanchez, Languages Canada (Presenter & Moderator)

Ryan Tremble, Canada Border Services Agency

Ganesh Neelanjanmath, iCent-app

Chris Mediratta, ILSC

Angela Johnston, ILAC

Join us for the launch of the new Languages Canada Letter of Acceptance Verification System! This simple and self-explanatory solution, currently being piloted by ILSC and ILAC, will be made available to CBSA and IRCC officers for instant validation of students’ Letters of Acceptance at the time of applying for Study Permits and at the port of entry.

Did you know that, according to an IRCC report from 2019, only 5,000 Letters of Acceptance (LOAs) are checked per year? And of those, 10% were found to be fraudulent?! This low rate of LOA verification threatens the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and reputation of Canadian education institutions, and impacts bona fide students, due to the risk of LOA falsification.

In this panel, we will hear firsthand from CBSA on the benefits that this new tool will deliver for Canada’s immigration and border services, and from pilot partners ILSC and ILAC on the value of this tool for LC members. iCent and the Languages Canada team will introduce and demo the LOA Verification System and let members know how they can start using it.

Mind the Gap – Canada's Labour Force Shortage, Immigration Targets, and the Role of International Language Education

Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director, Languages Canada (Moderator)

Michèle Kingsley, Director General, Immigration, IRCC

Jonathan Barr, Director of Policy, Research, Analysis, and Geomatics, Skills and Employment Branch, Employment and Social Development Canada

Philip Mondor, President, Tourism HR Canada

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Canada shifts from damage control to recovery, Canadian employers are faced with a giant hurdle – there simply aren't enough employees to ramp back up to full capacity. This is perhaps felt most acutely by Canada's travel and tourism sector, which faced massive layoffs during the pandemic, and has seen its pool of workers greatly reduced as many have since retrained and moved into other sectors. Canada's recovery hinges on effectively addressing the labour shortage, and the Government of Canada has set aggressive immigration targets to help to achieve this, which include the attraction and retention of international students. Join panelists from Tourism HR Canada and IRCC for a conversation about Canada's labour shortage and the role of immigration policy and international language students in addressing this hurdle to recovery.

Ontario Members’ Roundtable with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities of Ontario

Laura Adams, Director and Superintendent, Private Career Colleges Branch, Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Ontario members are invited to join this roundtable with the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities for a dialogue focusing on post-pandemic priorities and challenges.

Sector Interest Group Meeting

These parallel meetings – one for public LC members and one for private members – provide the opportunity for public universities and colleges and private language schools to meet separately to discuss common issues and share ideas. Members will review the association’s plans and priorities for 2022 and beyond prior to the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday morning.

Please note that these meetings are for LC members only.

State of the Sector: Recent Trends and Canada’s Current Market Position

Samuel Vetrak, CEO, BONARD (Presenter and Moderator)

Sharon Curl, Managing Director, Oxford International Education Group North America

Paula Jamieson, President & CEO, Global Village Victoria

Michèle Glémaud, Director, Admissions and Recruitment, Université de Montréal

One of the best attended and most useful sessions at the annual conference is the state-of-the-sector presentation made by leading market research firm BONARD. Join this session to hear global expert and BONARD CEO Samuel Vetrak on the latest global and Canadian figures and trends in language education. Following the presentation, Samuel will host a panel with leaders from three Canadian institutions to examine the relevancy of the issues presented. As part of the discussion, the experts will also share their views on related topics, including student accommodation and human resources issues in the sector.

Marketing Stream

Academic Success Guarantees: Marketing Scam or Academic Prowess?

Nadine Baladi, Vice-President of Operations, ILSC-Education Group, Canada

Jon Chodarcewicz, Centre Director, EC

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

A guarantee is made when we have a strong belief in our offering. Our methodology, our curriculum design, our student support mechanism: everything we offer is guided by our desire to see a student succeed so why not guarantee it? Why not say "we want to be held accountable for your success"? In this interactive session, the panel will explore both sides of the argument.

Digital Revolution – The International Student of the Future

Caroline Lévesque, Regional Director for Canada, FPP

Marcela Esquenazi, CEO, BLI Canada

Most current and soon-to-be international students were born in the same years as the first smartphones were launched. They perceive the world and learn differently. However, the way institutions recruit, teach and engage with students remains largely unchanged. The students of the future are already here. Are we prepared? Come see how technology improves recruitment and keeps students interested and motivated to learn.

The ICEF Agent Voice – Findings from ICEF's Biannual International Agent Survey

Chris Paredes, Business Development Manager, Western Canada, ICEF

Monèle Schrot, Director of French Language Programs, ICEF

The ICEF Agent Voice is a bi-annual survey of over 1,000 ICEF-screened agents from over 100 countries. This seminar will present the cumulative results from our 2022 surveys, including a year-on-year comparison of the attractiveness of international study destinations as perceived by agents recruiting for a wide range of international study programmes. Additional aspects covered include:

  • Where agents plan to send students in 2023 and beyond
  • What agents see as the most effective marketing strategies for educators
  • What institutions need to provide in terms of support for their agents.

The survey findings reported will help educators to build their reputation and relationships with agents and will assist in developing strategies to market themselves and their destinations more effectively.

Using Email to Nurture Language School Leads Into Students

Scott Cross, North America Regional Manager, Higher Education Marketing

“Email is dead. Who uses it anymore, anyway?!”

Actually, there’s no more effective tactic to get your message directly to someone who has already expressed interest in your school or program. But you may ask, how can I write something so it will not be ignored and deleted; something that’s relevant and engaging; something to move this prospect one step closer to a student? Join us to learn how.

At the end of this session, each attendee will be able to:

  1. Know the core elements of an effective email nurturing campaign to make the most of advancing a prospect to a booking;
  2. Write effective emails designed to attract and engage recipients at each stage of their journey from inquiry to enrolment;
  3. Know what metrics to measure to determine successful outcomes of email campaigns designed to drive student recruitment.

Student Experience and Welfare Stream

Troubled Waters “And Still, Sailing Ahead”

Christina Furtado, MACP, Mental Health and Wellness Specialist, International Insurance

Kendall Doucette, Mental Health & Wellness Consultant, Wellness and Learning Initiatives by guard.meCARES

Change is not something that is exclusive to the pandemic; universal law suggests that everything has a beginning, middle, and end – and thus, there will be transition and change. How do we then identify, articulate, and hone-in on what makes us resilient in the face of uncertainty? During the session, we will explore skills and strategies to identify and make sense of what makes us resilient in an ever-changing landscape, focusing on areas of recovery, innovation, and growth to allow us to maintain our balance and better respond to the natural ebb and flow of our day-to-day experiences. •

  • Recovery suggests we take pause and asks us, “where was I and where am I looking to go?” Here we ground and locate ourselves to understand what our current needs are, and the intentional creation of a space and time to slow down and connect to the present moment experience.
  • Innovation asks us, “what changes will need to be made, individually, collectively, or systemically to support my own and the collective needs?” Where we explore how to support ourselves on an individual, as well as a community level.
  • Growth asks us, “how can we create sustainable change for ourselves and others?” Here participants will focus on process; how to make sense of and integrate these skills and strategies into their own experiences.

Turning the Spotlight on Student Wellbeing: Curricularly-Integrated Mental Health Support for Post-Secondary ESL Students

Michael Fierheller, ESL instructor and Instructional Technology Coordinator, Trent University

Kate Higgins, ESL Instructor, Trent University

To facilitate international student access to mental health support, the Trent University ESL department integrated weekly wellness lessons into their curriculum. As initial responses to this proactive approach have been positive, Trent-ESL’s methodology and initial findings will be presented in hopes of encouraging other programs to adopt a similar model.

Thank you to our 15th Annual Conference supporters!