Second Languages Matter!

Best Practices Day 10th edition

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Second Languages Matter!

Monday, Feb. 2nd, 8:30am

Fantasyland Hotel, Edmonton, AB

Free parking on second floor outside conference centre.

To register: click here

$149 (includes light breakfast and lunch)

$89 for students

Session selection is now open!

Reserve your spot

Are you one of the almost 300 people registered to date?

If so, check your email for the link to pre-select your sessions.

Places are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Not yet registered? Hurry and click here to reserve your place!

Keynote Dr. Katy Arnett: Live and In-Person… we hope!*

Why do second languages matter to all students?

Katy Arnett, PhD is currently Associate Professor of Educational Studies, St. Mary's College of Maryland. She began her educational career as a French teacher at the secondary level and completed her MA and PhD in Second Language Education at the University of Toronto. Katy is the author of Languages for All: How to Support and Challenge Students in a Second Language Classroom and co-editor of Minority Populations in Canadian Second Language Education. Her interest in supporting students with diverse needs brought her to Canada over a decade ago. She’s since been back over 55 times!


*Katy was prevented from being with us in person last year when a major snowstorm closed Washington-area airports. Fingers crossed that Mother Nature is in a better mood this year!

A SESSIONS 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Strategies to support students with: Oral and written expression

Try out and walk away with a range of practical, concrete, classroom-based strategies to use immediately in your classroom. Even better: the strategies and activities benefit all students, and ways to support and challenge individual learners are embedded within them.

Dr. Katy Arnett, Keynote

Audience: General

Self-correction made easier

Give students control over checking the accuracy of their written work and responsibility for correcting common errors with this free, easy-to-use tool. Students learn as they edit, and apply classroom lessons to their own work. Bonus: the tools include built-in dictionaries, thesauri and grammatical lessons.

Dr. Terry Nadasdi, Professor, U of A

Audience: Gr 4-12 Teachers of French, Spanish, English and ESL

"Rap" It Up!

Your students can successfully write and sing short, fun raps in front of their peers using techniques from the AIM program. Inspire students to create and perform their own lyrics to favorite pop-music melodies. Participants will create their own mini-raps in their target language of choice in this very hands-on workshop.

Rhonda Murphy, EPSB

Audience: Gr 4-12 teachers, all languages and programs

Language: English with examples in French

Assessing L2 Reading Comprehension in the Early Years

Early assessment of reading comprehension is challenging, yet critical in a second language. Effectively assessing, addressing and supporting student needs in literacy increases the chances for success in a second language program. This session presents the research and proposes solutions for assessing and meeting the needs of at-risk learners in the early grades in second language settings.

Pauline Gilmour, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: Gr K-3 Teachers of French Immersion and Bilingual programs

Chinese Language Teaching Material Development Program

Hanban recently developed an online program for teachers based on research and analysis of nearly 5000 commonly used Chinese language teaching materials worldwide. Be introduced to some functions and usages of the Chinese Language Teaching Material Development Program in classroom teaching and also share some reflections on using the program.

Dr. Wei Li, Director and Robert Kong, Visiting Teacher, Confucius Institute in Edmonton and Joanna Chang, Instructor, U of C Continuing Education

Audience: Gr K-12 teachers of Chinese

Language: Mandarin

Triangulation of evidence in a second language context

How might second language teachers gather assessment evidence in their L2 classroom using Triangulation of Evidence, a model originally developed by Anne Davies? Look at conversations, observations and products through a second language lens with an eye to creating robust assessment practices.

Marnie Beaudoin, Consultant, EPSB

Audience: General

Le FLA au vertical

Ces enseignants planifient leur programme d’études de FLA au niveau du secondaire deuxième cycle tout en révisant et consolidant les apprentissages des années précédentes. Cette approche verticale vise à permettre aux élèves d'accomplir des projets a l’écrit et à l'oral qui leur seront familiers mais qui leur en demanderont un peu plus au fil des années.

Annette Smith and Paul Martial, Teachers, EPSB

Audience: Gr 4-9 Teachers of French Immersion

Language: French​

Where, why and how to use SLIC videos

Do you ever wish that you had short video resources to help parents, colleagues, administrators, even students understand the importance and benefits of second language learning? Look no farther than these free online videos from SLIC, the Second Language and Intercultural Council of the ATA.

Patricia Haugland, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: General

B Sessions 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Strategies to support students with: Interpreting oral and written text

Try out and walk away with a range of practical, concrete, classroom-based strategies to use immediately in your classroom. Even better: the strategies and activities benefit all students, and ways to support and challenge individual learners are embedded within them.

Dr. Katy Arnett, Keynote

Audience: General

Taking ‘AIM’ at cross-curricular competencies

This teacher took a look at her FSL classroom practice through the lens of the cross-curricular competencies of the Ministerial Order on Student Learning. She discovered that the way she chooses to use the Accelerated Integrated Method (AIM) provides multiple rich opportunities for her students to strengthen and expand their learning competencies.

Dionne LeBlanc, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: Teachers who use the Accelerated Integrated Method (AIM)

Language: English with examples in French

Mission ImPossible (CLASSified Tech Secrets)

Go from being Agent Bland to Bond in this spy-themed session. Smartboard “gadgets” such as invisible ink, erase and reveal, magnifying glass, etc. can be used by the secret agent (teacher) in a “mission” to educate the “targets” (students). Then ‘’interrogate’’ the targets via self-grading apps that instantly tell the secret agent what their targets know.

Rosa Scarpelli, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: General

Language: English with examples in French

Task-based language learning and cross-curricular competencies

Classrooms where students use the second language to accomplish authentic, meaningful and age-appropriate tasks are classrooms rich in opportunities to develop the cross-curricular competencies laid out in the Ministerial Order on Student Learning. Find out why and, more importantly, how!

Dr. William Dunn, Professor, U of A

Audience: General

Hang in there! Retaining students in L2 programs

The benefits of second language learning for all learners through to grade 12 are well-documented, yet the retention of students in programs can still be challenging. Share ideas around concrete strategies like smoother transitions across division levels, individual support, and communication of present and future benefits for personal and career pathways.

Marnie White, Program Coordinator, EPSB

Audience: Gr 6-12 teachers of all languages and programs

Leveling books in the L2: What you need to know

Knowing the level at which your students are reading is key to a strong second language literacy program. A common next-step challenge: selecting text at their instructional levels. Learn the principles of levelling books using Fountas and Pinnell criteria and how to apply them to texts in the target language. Then use samples to practice the levelling techniques.

Norman Sieweke and Marie Commance-Shulko, Consultants, EPSB

Audience: Gr 1-9 Teachers of Bilingual and French Immersion programs

What I learned while substitute teaching and why it matters to L2

This new second language teacher was able to hit the ground running in her first assignment with a toolbox already full of tips, tricks, and wisdom gained from her time as a substitute teacher. She shares her most practical and relevant learnings with colleagues new to the profession.

Morgen Zoeller, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: Teachers new to a second language assignment

Focus on language learning through inquiry

What happens when target language learning becomes the focus of inquiry based projects across curricula? For this teacher: engaged students learning and using the L2 in authentic and interactive ways in a variety of contexts while achieving subject area curricular outcomes.

Projects shared will include social studies, FLA, ELA and science.

Marissa Massey, Teacher, CBE

Audience: Gr 5-9 teachers of French Immersion and Bilingual programs

Language: English with examples in French

C Sessions 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Strategies to support students with: Self-management

Try out and walk away with a range of practical, concrete, classroom-based strategies to use immediately in your classroom. Even better: the strategies and activities benefit all students, and ways to support and challenge individual learners are embedded within them.

Dr. Katy Arnett, Keynote

Audience: General


Everyone can learn the salsa and bachata. Teachers of Spanish can make direct links to curriculum and all can enjoy the popular rhythms and lively music of these Latin dances. Just try keeping your feet still in this dance workshop! In addition, musical suggestions for salsa and bachata styles in a variety of languages will be shared.

Patrick Cajina and Claudia Babin, Students, Campus Saint-Jean Dance Club

Audience: General

Language: English with examples in Spanish

Tech Café: Engaging Students With Learning Technologies

Whether you struggle to use technology, or thrive on finding new ways to integrate it into your classes, come learn simple ways to engage students in the 21st Century. With a few easy to use websites, assignment templates and free apps, you can drastically increase engagement and motivate your students to communicate in the target language. BYOD to try some out!

Stephanie Jackson-Basuyaux, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: General

Moving forward with Moodle

Since using the Moodle Language Lab learning platform, this teacher has seen his teaching practice evolve as he transfers more control of learning to his students. The results: his students are more engaged in their learning and use the target language more than ever. He shares his journey to date with this technology and where he plans to go next.

Frank Candido, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: Gr 7-12 Teachers of FSL and Language and Culture courses

Language: English with examples in Spanish

Get up to date on the Alberta Mathematics K-5 Program of Studies

Clarifications to the Alberta Mathematics Kindergarten to Grade 9 Program of Studies and to mathematics curriculum support documents came into effect in September 2014. The updates clarify expectations regarding the mastering of basic number facts and the use of strategies from grades 1 to 5. Find out exactly what has changed- bring your highlighter!

Diane Stobbe, Program Standards Leader and Kimberly Romyn, Math Manager, Alberta Education

Audience: K-5 Teachers of French Immersion and Bilingual programs

Book Clubs in a Second Language Classroom

Today’s more diverse and inclusive classrooms require differentiated guided learning supports for students. Book Clubs offer rich opportunities to provide and to develop student second language literacy skills. Walk away with practical activities to begin Book Clubs and initiate great conversations with your students.

Marie Commance-Shulko and Britt Potvin, Consultants, EPSB

Audience: Gr 5-9 Teachers of French Immersion and Bilingual programs

Teaching for cultural competence in the second language classroom

Do you wonder about effective ways of integrating cultural instruction into the L2 classroom as our schools and communities become more linguistically and culturally diverse? Leave with some practical teaching strategies to coach students to be able to interact and communicate appropriately in a variety of situations and contexts.

Melody Kostiuk, Consultant, EPSB and Olena Hartsula, Ukrainian Language Advisor, Alberta Education

Audience: General

D Sessions 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Adorer la poésie et la chanson? C'est possible!

Cette enseignante a réussi à faire aimer la poésie et la chanson chez ses élèves tant que ces ados lui demandent d’en créer dans des moments libres en classe. Elle vous montre ses secrets!

Tamie Froment, Department Head, EPSB

Audience: Gr 7-12 teachers of French Immersion and FSL

Language of session: French

Google Classroom in the second language classroom

Learn from the presenter about Google Classroom; a simple, safe and paperless environment to manage student work, assessment and communication that is free for school districts using Google Apps for Education. Then take time to discuss with colleagues its effective application in the second language classroom. BYOD and ideas and get started.

Will Rice, Educational Technology Consultant, EPSB

Audience: General

Digging deeper into writing

We often instruct students on what and how to write, but seldom on why. Teaching students to be more aware of their thinking and to more deeply explore language can guide and enhance their writing.Second language teachers can help students use a variety of learning and communication strategies to write with intent to invite readers​ into the ​text.

Dr. Xinxin Fang, Chinese Language Advisor, Alberta Education

Audience: Gr K-12 Teachers of Chinese

Language of presentation: Mandarin

MERFIP vous offre des ressources

Explorez les ressources développés et achetés par l’association Metropolitan Edmonton Regional French Immersion Programs (MERFIP) qui les rendent disponibles gratuitement sur leur site web. Il y aura aussi du temps pour connecter avec d'autres professeurs en immersion pour partager des ressources, des pratiques, des stratégies et des histoires.

Corey Haley, Assistant Principal, Parkland

Audience: Gr K-9 Teachers of French Immersion

Language: French

Developing Oral Skills: Engaging activities. Engaged students!

'Vamos a explorar' a variety of creative ideas, useful resources and engaging activities for the Spanish classroom that develop our students' oral language. We will also integrate technology as a means for developing oral skills and examine approaches to oral assessment.

Melissa Valdés, Spanish Language Advisor, Alberta Education

Audience: Gr K-12 Teachers of Spanish

Language: Spanish

Ideen für die Arbeit mit heterogenen Gruppen

Heterogenität ist ein prägendes Merkmal aller Lerngruppen. Konkret sollen die TeilnehmerInnen dieses Workshops Methoden der Binnendifferenzierung kennen lernen und ausprobieren, die Sie im Deutschunterricht anwenden können. Außerdem soll über die Anwendbarkeit und die Vor-und Nachteile der Methoden diskutiert werden. Ziel ist es, dass die TeilnehmerInnen lernen, Heterogenität nicht als Problem zu betrachten sondern diese als Normalfall und Chance anzusehen.

Ulrike Kugler, Department Head, Goethe-Institut Toronto

Audience: Gr K-12 Teachers of German

Language: German

Actively engaging Cree language learners

Cree is a rich and complex language. When the classroom is an active learning environment where mistakes are expected, even welcome, students can more fully engage in learning the Cree language and culture. They can problem-solve through interaction and cooperation with peers to discover the many connections and word derivations of the language.

Dorothy Thunder, Instructor, U of A and Susan Sinclair, Teacher, EPSB

Audience: Teachers and instructors of Cree/Aboriginal languages

Language: Cree and English

On-line Resources for Japanese

This hands-on session will focus on exploring available online resources in Japanese and how they can be most effectively used to further learners' studies in the classroom or even at home. Bring your own device and try the digital resources for yourself!

Mami Saito, Japanese Language Advisor, Alberta Education

Audience: Gr 7-12 Teachers of Japanese

Language: Japanese

Eligible for funding!

Session Program FAQs

1. How do I make my session choices?

  • You have to be registered first.
  • Registrants will be emailed a special link by January 22.
  • Follow the link, fill out the form and make your first and second session choices.
  • TIP: Refer to this online flyer or this print-friendly flyer while selecting your sessions.

2. When can I select my sessions?

  • Registrants can choose sessions by January 22.
  • Session selection closes at midnight on January 27.
3.. What happens if I don't choose my sessions by January 27?
  • No problem! You can choose from open sessions at registration on February 2.

4. How will I know if I got my preferred sessions?

  • You will receive an itinerary with your choices at registration on February 2.
  • Everyone will get their first or second choice of sessions.
5. What if I want to make changes to my selections?
  • Just let us know at the registration table on the 2nd. If there is room in the new session, you can join in.

What is Second Languages Matter?

  • The largest gathering of second language educators in the province, with attendees coming from across the province and the country
  • Over 30 practical sessions highlighting best practices in L2 education
  • A day for teachers and administrators of all languages, including ESL and all second language courses and programs, K-12
  • An opportunity to connect with and learn from colleagues, peruse the latest resources and maybe win some great prizes

Click here for print-friendly flyers about Second Languages Matter! 2015

How fantastic is Second Languages Matter? Take the word of past participants!


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

See you in February!

Photos of Second Languages Matter! 2014


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More information

Sessions: Michelle De Abreu at

Program/Displayers: Leanne Sprake at

Registration: Natasha Stempien at


Twitter: @iisle_epsb

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Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education

Edmonton Public Schools

Supporting the teaching and learning of second languages