Edmonton Public Schools presents

  • The largest gathering of second language educators in the province, with participants attending from across Canada
  • Over 35 presenters sharing best practices in L2 education
  • An inspirational keynote speaker, Sherryl Sewepegaham
  • Many displayers featuring the newest L2 resources
  • Fun activities and great prizes

Register now to reserve your spot! Details at bottom of flyer.

Second Languages Matter!

Friday, Feb. 15th 2013 at 8:30am-3:30pm

17700 87 Ave NW

Edmonton, AB

Fantasyland Hotel and Conference Centre, West Edmonton Mall

Free parking on second floor outside conference centre



NEW C SESSION: Cars & Mountains! or What counts when it comes to assessment in L2 (1pm)

NEW TIME: SpeakPipe moves to a D session at 2:15 pm (from 1pm)

NEW TIME: Can I Borrow a Pencast moves to a C session at 1 pm (from 2:15pm)

FAQ Selecting Sessions

1. I want to make changes to my selections:

a) I have already completed selecting my sessions:
  • Do nothing. Just let us know about the changes at the registration table on the 15th.

b) I have not yet completed selecting my sessions:

  • Open the survey link emailed to you and choose away!

2. I don't know how to select sessions:

  • You need to be registered first. See the bottom of the flyer for instructions.
  • You will then be emailed a survey link. Open it and have fun choosing!

Keynote: Sherryl Sewepagaham

Award-winning singer/songwriter

A reflection on language, identity and community

Sherryl impacts lives across North America through the gift of music conveyed through the Cree language. Sherryl speaks candidly and openly about her challenges in learning languages and the profound influence they play in her life.


Sherryl Sewepagaham is a member of the award-winning musical group, Asani. This trio of Aboriginal women have performed for the Dalai Lama, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, BC.


Discover sessions for second language educators of all programs, languages and levels K-12:

  • Literacy
  • Technology
  • I Can statements
  • Authentic tasks
  • Daily 5 and Literacy Café
  • Survival tips
  • Intercultural competencies, and even
  • Pinterest !

A SESSIONS: 9:30 am - 10:30 am

A Conversation with Sherryl Sewepagaham

What motivates a northern Alberta, Cree music teacher to learn her language through song and also tackle the Spanish language? What was behind her decision to create a Spanish bilingual home instead of a Cree bilingual home for her son? Join Sherryl in an informal conversation around these questions and why she is such a passionate and strong advocate of the arts in education and second languages in schools.

Presenter: Sherryl Sewepagaham
Award-winning singer/songwriter, Aboriginal music consultant, ECSD

Audience: General

Language of session: English

Adaptable projects for the secondary FSL classroom

Are you tired of re-inventing the wheel when it comes to creating worthwhile and engaging projects for your many levels of students? After teaching FSL 7-9 and 10 to 20-9Y and 10-20-3Y in two years, this teacher turned to designing solid projects that could be adapted for all his grade levels. The decision focused the teaching and learning, stream-lined assessment, consolidated resources and saved his sanity.

Presenter: Kalen Thorne

Teacher, Steele Heights School, EPSB

Audience: Junior and Senior High FSL teachers

Language of session: French

Integrating socio-cultural communicative competence through Spanish song

This workshop offers useful resources and ideas to raise students’ awareness of Spanish culture

using songs and video clips. We will explore different songs from the last three decades

of the history of Spanish music. The participants will compare materials and try to think about

their own way of bringing culture to the Spanish class using simple, hands-on activities to

improve communication by using popular songs.

Presenter: Melissa Valdés

Spanish Language Advisor, Alberta Education, Embassy of Spain

Audience: Teachers of Spanish

Language of session: Spanish

La musique et le mouvement en salle de classe

L’intégration de la musique et du mouvement dans la salle de classe permet les élèves d’utiliser et d’améliorer le français, d’explorer les cultures francophones et d’apprécier la musique populaire française. Apprenez comment utiliser les sites web tels que You-tube et planifiez votre propre émission de télévision « Star Académie »!

Presenters: Charlene Banjac, Amanda Ficht and Virginia Lewis

Teachers, Dunluce School, EPSB

Audience: Elementary French immersion and FSL teachers

Language of session: French

How individual learner factors influence second language learning

Individual diversity will lead to different results in second language learning, such as the learners' physiological, cognitive and emotional factors. This session will explore and discuss how second language teachers can do more to support learners with their language aptitude, learning and communication strategies and cognitive styles.

Presenter: Dr. Xinxin Fang

Chinese Language Advisor, Alberta Education, Hanban, China

Audience: Teachers of Chinese

Language of session: Chinese

Wirbeln und Wimmeln: Unterwegs in der Großstadt

This workshop will look at various formats of how to engage students in understanding and

reproducing texts in simple ways in the German class room. Participants will experience how

props and clues can boost students' success when dealing with texts. Examples around the

theme of city and transportation will be taken from the PASCH website.

Presenter: Wieland Petermann

German Language Advisor, Alberta Education, Central Agency for Schools Abroad, Germany

Audience: Teachers of German

Language of session: German

Minna no “Can-Do” Site: Online database of “Can-Do” statements

Setting clear goals is essential and fosters autonomous learners who can effectively acquire 21st century skills. The Japan Foundation developed JF standard and its online database tool to support language educators to design their course suitable for their instruction. Let’s utilize it and collaborate for seamless life-long learning.

Presenter: Yoshimi Harata

Japanese Language Advisor, Alberta Education, The Japan Foundation

Audience: Teachers of Japanese

Language of session: Japanese

B SESSIONS: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Bringing it all together in FSL

Incorporate AIM with the elementary FSL program of studies, extend it with judicious use of technology and align it with the recently teacher developed I Can statements: a recipe for success! Students receive scaffolded support to learn French and more importantly use the language for meaningful and authentic purposes.

Presenter: Sarah Wilson

Teacher, J.A. Fife School, EPSB

Audience: Elementary FSL teachers

Language of session: English with examples in French

Google Apps and Docs: Practical ideas for the L2 classroom

Are you capitalizing on the wealth of tools offered by Google apps and on the versatility of Google docs to enhance your second language program? If you are not, come to this session to see what you are missing. These teachers share their tried and true favourites for purposeful and efficient learning in the target language.

BYOD: Bring your own device to try for yourself.

Presenters: Josie Crerar and Rita Sarrate

Teachers Rio Terrace School, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English with examples in German and French

Listen up! Building better active listening skills

This veteran second language educator believes that robust active listening skills equip students to better handle the target language in authentic situations. These skills, developed and practiced through tried and true strategies and projects, give students greater confidence to communicate for meaningful purposes outside the classroom.

Presenter: Carolyn King

Sessional instructor, University of Calgary

Audience: Junior and Senior High L2 teachers

Language of session: English

Teaching Chinese characters to speakers of other languages – A new approach

Writing Chinese characters can be challenging for speakers of phonetic-based language systems. This presentation will explore a new paradigm for teaching Chinese Hanzi that addresses questions such as what, how and when to teach Chinese characters. Comprehensive and diverse practical exercises will be employed, analyzed and demonstrated.

Presenter: Dr. Meiru Liu

Professor, Portland State University

Audience: Teachers of Chinese

Language of session: Chinese

Daily 5 and Literacy CAFÉ in the L2 classroom

Join us on the Daily 5 and CAFÉ adventure! The literacy structures of Daily 5 (scheduling your language block): 1. read to self, 2. work on writing, 3. word work, 4. listen to reading, and 5. read to someone, and CAFÉ (what students study during this time): Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary help these teachers- and their students- work smarter, not harder in their language arts class!

Presenters: Oralia Achtzener and Melissa Kathmann

Teachers, Sweet Grass and Michael Strembitsky Schools, EPSB

Audience: Elementary French immersion and Bilingual program teachers

Language of session: English with examples in French and Spanish

Developing Intercultural Competence

A goal of language curricula is that our students develop the ability to successfully communicate with people of other cultures. To be interculturally competent is to understand other people’s ways of thinking and behaving and to have the ability to express one’s own way of doing so. This experiential, hands-on session examines strategies for building intercultural skills in students.

Presenters: Olena Hartsula and Melody Kostiuk

Ukrainian Language Advisor, Alberta Education and International Languages Consultant, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English with examples in Ukrainian

C SESSIONS: 1:00 pm -2:00 pm

10 Simple rules for surviving your L2 assignment

Do you sometimes feel like you are trapped in a bizarre reality TV show for new L2 teachers, struggling to stay on the island? This panel of ‘veteran’ new second language teachers shares their top 10 tips, tricks and resources to help you survive and even thrive in your second language teacher assignment.

Presenters: Laina Balser, Michèle Jackson, Patricia Haugland

Teachers, Mill Creek, Eastglen and Coronation Schools, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English

Anchoring FSL learning with authentic tasks

Finding a way to engage junior high and high school students in purposeful learning was a challenge for this FSL teacher… until she discovered authentic tasks. Join Julie to learn more about how and why she plans her classes around tasks and the difference it has made for her students.

Presenter: Julie Marko

Teacher, Ellerslie Campus, EPSB

Audience: Junior and Senior High FSL teachers

Language of session: English with examples in French

I know they need to talk: now what?

We all know of the importance of getting students to talk in the target language but many of us could use some strategies that facilitate oral interactions. Participants will take part in several communicative activities that will get everyone talking and that can be easily adapted for any language at any level with low-to-no preparation for use on Monday!

Presenter: Michelle De Abreu

FSL consultant, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English

NEW SESSION: Cars & Mountains! or What counts when it comes to assessment in L2

What is worthy of robust assessment for grading and reporting purposes in the second language classroom? Let’s examine the question creatively thorough the powerful lens of metaphor. In the future you will find yourself more confidently facing this challenge by first asking, “Is this in the driver’s seat or is it a passenger?” and “Where on the mountain am I anyway?”

Presenter: Marnie Beaudoin

Consultant, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English

NEW TIME: Can I Borrow a Pencast? Using Livescribe for Pencasts in the L2 classroom

What excites these teachers about the evolution of this new generation of smart pens? Its huge potential to support their in-class communicative activities, iPod lab and Google share work. In addition, the new pens interface in 10 different languages, lend themselves to the ‘flipped classroom’ and allow easy student access to their lesson content both inside and out of the classroom. If you love new technology, be sure to hear the latest in smart pens!

Presenters: Colleen Chwedoruk and Alex Battershill

Teachers, Parkview School, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English with examples in French

A Teacher's guide to Guided Reading

Guided reading can be a critical component of a comprehensive target language arts program. These teachers share how they address such unique challenges as choosing appropriate L2 resources and strategies, ensuring meaningful learning in the target language for the large group, managing time, grouping students … and much more.

Presenters: Camila Krug and Mark Dickner

Teachers, Mill Creek and Richard Secord Schools, EPSB

Audience: Elementary French immersion and Bilingual program teachers

Language of session: English with examples in Spanish and French

Exchanging worlds: The how and the why

Many second language educators chose their career path after having participated in a student exchange while young. Many others wish they could have done so. Alberta Education’s International Educational Exchange Program, administered through the ATA, makes this possibility a reality for today’s L2 students. Learn about the program, how you can be involved and about the many benefits to the students and the broader school community.

Presenters: Katherine McGeean and Mindy Bratvold

International Education Exchange Liaisons, ATA

Audience: Junior and Senior High Teachers

Language of session: English

D SESSIONS: 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

NEW TIME: SpeakPipe: Get Kids Listening, Speaking, and Self-assessing in the L2 Classroom

Are looking for effective and engaging ways of using technology to extend language practice beyond the classroom? Learn how to use Speak Pipe, a web 2.0 tool to develop speaking, listening and self-reflection skills in the L2. The presenter will take you step-by-step to creating a fully functional teacher blog featuring Speakpipe, which can be used with students the next day.

BYOD: Bring a netbook or laptop with microphone and head set. (SpeakPipe does not work on iPhone, iPad, or iPod or other devices that do not support Flash technology.)

Presenter: Belal Sweileh

Teacher, Grace Martin School, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English with examples in Arabic

Get your students to say I Can… en français!

What can students do if they can ‘function in the French language and culture’ as intended in the FSL program of studies? I Can statements help define that communicative target, focus instruction and enable students to take control of their learning. These teachers share how they use I Can statements to lead students to a more purposeful and authentic use of French.

Presenters: Roxanne Wiebenga and Robin Woodruff

Teachers, Kildare and Crawford Plains Schools, EPSB

Audience: All teachers of FSL and Language and Culture

Language of session: English with examples in French

Have an interest in Pinterest?

Discover the wonderful world of Pinterest through the eyes of second language teachers. You will leave full of fantastic teaching ideas, tools, games and videos that you can use immediately. And they’ll all be in one place!

BYOD: Bring your Smartphone or laptop so you can experience the joy of Pinterest hands-on.

Presenters: Faye Holt and Sara Wanner

Teachers, Vimy Ridge Academy, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English with examples in French

Best bang for your buck: Target language use

Target language use is the most powerful component of language teaching and the most challenging. In this session we will focus on how to meet this challenge so as to maximize language proficiency in a language classroom. Strategies, strategies and more strategies will be presented for teachers to implement into their classroom practice.

Presenter: Norman Sieweke
International Languages Consultant, EPSB

Audience: General

Language of session: English

Literacy for 21st century L2 learners: supporting all students with UDL

Meeting the challenge of supporting literacy development for all students in the L2 classroom, not only those with special needs, requires a comprehensive framework for planning. This teacher shares how she incorporates Universal Design for Learning principles, pertinent software, websites and other tools and strategies on a daily basis to ensure success for all students.

Presenter: Megan Sénéchal

Teacher, Holyrood School

Audience: Elementary French immersion and Bilingual program teachers

Language of session: English with examples in French

‘Wichitotan’: Mini-forum for sharing teacher ideas

One of the most popular sessions for teachers of Cree is a community sharing of ideas that work for their students. Experienced educators will lead participants in speaking activities that align with the Cree Language and Culture program of studies. They will then guide a sharing circle of classroom ideas and best practices. In keeping with our cultural practices, this will be informal and fun to do. ’Miyosin ta pahpih..mamawokamatotan.’- ‘These are Elders teachings’.

Presenter: Mary Cardinal-Collins, and Joan Simpson

Aboriginal Education Consultant, EPSB and Teacher, Westmount School, EPSB

Audience: Teachers and instructors of Cree and other Aboriginal languages

Language of session: English with examples in Cree



7:30-8:30 am: Registration

8:30-9:15 am: Opening remarks and keynote

9:30-10:30 am: Session A

10:30-11:00 am: Break and Displayer visits

11:00-12:00 pm: Session B

12:00-1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00-2:00 pm: Session C

2:00-2:15 pm: Break and Displayer visits

2:15-3:15 pm: Session D


Edmonton Public Schools Registration:

Non-Edmonton Public Schools Registration:

  • Click here to register
  • To register multiple participants: Contact Metro Continuing Education at 780-428-1111 or 1-877-202-2003 or when registering, choose HOUSEHOLD.

Cost: $149 includes a light breakfast, breaks and lunch

Selecting Sessions

First-come, first-served!

To pre-select your day's sessions:
  • Register first
  • Once registered, you will be emailed a special link
  • Select your first and second choices
  • Receive your itinerary at registration on February 15
  • Pre-selection closes at midnight on February 11
  • After February 11, choose from open sessions on the 15th
  • Need to make changes to your selection? No problem! Just let us know on the 15th.

More information

Sessions: Michelle De Abreu at

Program/Displayers: Leanne Sprake at

Registration: Charlotte Smith at


Twitter: @iisle_epsb



See you in February!