SPRING/SUMMER 2017 ISSUE

SPRING/SUMMER 2017 ISSUE

SPRING/SUMMER 2017 ISSUE

What’s Inside: A Message from the President . . 3 Letter from the Editor . . 4 Meet Your OMLTA/AOPLVBoard of Directors . 5 Quoi de neuf . . 6 The First Five Years . . 8 Spring Conference . . 9 Take It and Make It Yours . . 12 Concours d’art oratoire . . 17 Language Contests . . 20 Projet à Québec . . 26 Directors in Action . 27 International Languages . . 29 5 Questions With/Avec . . 30 Branchez-Vous & Resource Reviews . . 32 À la prochaine / Save the Date . . 34 Communication SPRING/SUMMER 2017 ISSUE Engaging All Students in My School Through the French Public Speaking Contest Using Literature to Teach Math Offrir une expérience culturelle authentique aux élèves FSF1D/1P From Aleppo (Syria) to Brampton : Crisis, Communication & Hope Esteemed Indigenous Educator Dr.

Jan Hare Offers Perspective in 5 Questions Avec/With Check out our new webpage at www.omlta.org

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 2 VISION OMLTA/AOPLV is the leader in professional learning and advocacy, inspiring and connecting Ontario’s French and International Languages educators MISSION OMLTA/AOPLV: • Fosters collaboration amongst language educators and professional partners • Delivers practical, user-friendly best practices in language learning. • Influences policies and directions that support French and International Languages education MEMBERSHIP Becoming a member has never been easier! Since early 2017, membership to the OMLTA/AOPLV runs from the date of purchase until the same date the following year.

We are pleased to be offering two different payment models going forward. You are now able to purchase a one-year membership OR you can subscribe and have your membership automatically renew via PayPal each year! Visit www.omlta.org and become a member today! Membership Benefits OMLTA/AOPLV members receive… • Monthly update on the latest issues and happenings in French as a Second Language and International Languages education in Ontario • Quarterly issue of Communication, the OMLTA’s professional magazine that provides ideas for best practice in the second language classroom, professional resource reviews, interviews with key personnel in second language education, and updates on how OMLTA is advocating for optimal teaching and learning conditions in French as a Second Language and International Languages across the province • Discounted membership with CASLT/ACPLS • Advocacy on their behalf at the Ministry of Education and School Board levels • Tools to help FSL and IL teachers advocate for themselves and their programs at the school levels • Reduced conference fees at our annual Conferences • Access to bursaries to our Conferences • Voting rights at our Annual General Meeting • Opportunities to join the OMLTA Board of Directors • Access to annual awards that recognize FSL and IL teaching excellence • Access to bursaries for educational exchanges to Spain and Italy • Opportunities to participate in Projet à Québec, our première summer immersion experience • Opportunities to present their own best-practice ideas at conferences and webinars DISCLAIMER: The information and views set out in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association/Association ontarienne des professeurs de langues vivantes (OMLTA).

The OMLTA, its employees, its Board of Directors, or any person acting on their behalf may not be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

All use of the masculine in any language to designate individuals or groups of individuals is employed only to lighten text, and serves to identify persons of all genders without discrimination. Vision & Mission • Access to opportunities to work with colleagues from across the province on exciting resource writing-projects (e.g., Revised Curriculum support documents, financial literacy in the second language classroom, etc.) • Access to our Members-only library on our website, which contains a huge range of resources for all FSL and IL teachers, from conference materials to fact sheets to useful websites to lesson plans • Opportunities to collaborate with a vast network of FSL and IL educators from across the province LETS GET SOCIAL...

We are on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/omlta Follow us on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/omlta

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 3 A Message From The President Hello, fellow OMLTA/AOPLV members! Welcome to this edition of Communication, the online publication of the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Assocation/Association ontarienne des professeurs de langues vivantes! I am truly honoured to have been elected as president of OMLTA/ AOPLV for 2017-2018. This is an incredible opportunity for me and I thank you all for your continued support, encouragement and passion.

I hope to be able to bring as much as the presidents before me have and am very excited to work with the new OMLTA/AOPLV Board of Directors. I would like to thank the previous board for all their amazing work under the incredible leadership of Michael Green. What an amazing group of educators working on your behalf! Nous avons beaucoup accompli pour nos membres et pour l’enseignement du français et des langues internationales à travers l’Ontario cette année. I’m so proud of our new website and I encourage you to explore it and all of the possibilities available to you as language educators.

The last couple of months have been a very busy and exciting time for OMLTA/AOPLV and its members. Jimmy Steele brought a new and innovative perspective to the annual OMTA Spring Conference. Congratulations to him on a hugely successful and inspiring event! Thank you to all the members who attended with the numerous insightful presenters from across the province. I also appreciate the publishers, special guests, Past-Presidents, and life members, who were also in attendance. Congratulations, as well to all of this year’s award winners. Summer will be soon upon us, and with that comes the opportunity to reflect, relax and recharge.

Next year promises to bring some exciting times for FSL and International Languages. As our newly articulated vision states, the OMLTA/AOPLV will continue to strive to be the leader in professional learning and advocacy, inspiring and connecting Ontario’s French and International Languages educators. We will continue to deliver and refine practical, user-friendly best practices in language learning and I encourage you to get involved in your association – apply for writing teams, participate in webinars and conferences, volunteer as a judge for the provincial concours oratoire, submit an article to Communication, encourage other FSL and International Language educators to take out an OMLTA membership, consider becoming a director on the board.

There are many ways for you be involved in your organization. Together Everyone Achieves More!

Je vous remercie sincèrement pour votre confiance en moi et j’ai hâte de travailler avec vous. Cette année promet beaucoup d’inspiration, de créativité et de collaboration! Cordialement, Nicole Czaja President, 2017 – 2018 Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association Association ontarienne des professeurs de langues vivantes.

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 4 Dear Readers, As we are gearing up for our end of year activities and making plans for the summer, I want to talk about something that has been on my mind lately: the changing face of French education in the province of Ontario.

It is a reality that enrolment in French immersion is at an all-time high in the province of Ontario. It is also true that school board program departments are struggling to keep up with the hiring of qualified and good quality French Immersion teachers. The Ontario College of Teachers statistics point to the unemployment rate of English language teachers to be at 34% versus the unemployment rate of French as a Second Language teachers is 5%. The employment prospects for teachers who have French as a First or Second Language qualifications are very good. And yet, school boards are still struggling to keep up with their program demands.

Quel effet est-ce que cela a sur nos étudiants ? Obtiennent-ils le meilleur enseignement du FLS qu’ils pourraient obtenir ? Quel effet est-ce que cela a sur nos programmes de FLS, Français Immersion et Français Intensif?

School boards are faced with making decisions which either keep up with the high demand for French accessibility at younger grades OR having to limit, in some way, accessibility to FSL programs in order to keep educational standards high and provide qualified good quality FSL teachers. And these are among the many reasons why OMLTA/AOPLV remains a vital part of second language education in our province. We continue to advocate on the collective behalf of our students and educators across the province in order to ensure outstanding, quality education for all. Our voice at the table with the Ministry of Education and many other stakeholders is a recognized and a valued one, and we take our responsibilities to our young people - and to all of you – very seriously.

Being an engaged OMLTA member means that you are committed to your practice and to being an outstanding second language educator, which can only benefit Ontario’s students. Let’s keep ourselves up to date on the decisions that our school boards are making with regards to French program offerings and student enrolment choices for French language programs. Each school board in Ontario is unique and therefore may make decisions which would be effective for their geographic area and sociocultural makeup which wouldn’t jive with another school board in another area. Our job is to keep abreast of any changes and always advocate for giving students choices.

The more French programs we offer, the better, because as language educators we know how these decisions have played out in our own lives. Let’s give our children and our students as many options as we can by keeping up to date on what actions or decisions are being made at the school board level. Talk to your department heads, talk to your curriculum consultants, talk to your principals and vice-principals, talk to your superintendents and to your directors. Ask the right questions. The more we bring awareness to the changing face of French education in the province of Ontario, the more the odds that it will be seen as being important to make critical decisions now that will benefit the many generations of students to come.

Je vous souhaite un juin, juillet et août merveilleux et plein de repos ! Passez du temps avec vos familles et vos amis et bonne chance avec vos plans pour les vacances!

Ida Continenza Editor/Rédactrice, Communication Letter from the Editor Reach-Out Committee Team THANK YOU TO THE REACH OUT COMMITTEE FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS AND HELP! The Reach Out Committee is made up of dynamic volunteers who help the editor by inviting/recruiting various individuals to write articles for OMLTA’s Communication Magazine, which comes out three times a year. These volunteers are always on the look-out for teaching ideas which are practical, informative, current and thought-provoking in order to share them with OMLTA’s many educators teaching in Core, Extended, and Immersion French and International Language classrooms.

They also help in proofreading articles. A huge thank you to the following committee members: Amy Turner is a Secondary Core French Teacher and DELF Correctrice with the Upper Grand District School Board. She is a busy mom of 4 kids who loves cooking, reading, yoga and trying new things. Danielle Mirra is a Teacher with the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. She loves organizing the large scale French cafés at her school and is involved in many extra-curricular activities.

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 5 Meet Your OMLTA Board of Directors 2017 - 2018 Nicole Czaja (President) Rainbow DSB Spanish, French, English FSL consultant (K-12 Core and Immersion) for Rainbow DSB and Regional Market Lead for McDonalds. Michael Green (Past President) Waterloo Region DSB French, Spanish, English In addition to teaching vocal music, he sings in, directs, and accompanies various choirs. Jimmy Steele (First Vice-President) York University/Toronto DSB German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Icelandic, English A recipient of a 10-year volunteer merit award from the AIDS Committee of Toronto.

Laura Dursley (Secretary) Trillium Lakelands DSB French, Spanish, English Has worked in Botswana and Ecuador, in addition to many rural areas across Canada. Ida Continenza (2016-2019) Editor - Communication Halton Catholic DSB French, English, Italian Loves “family time”, family vacations, reading, dancing & cooking homemade Italian meals. Vanessa Heydrich-Swan (2016-2018) Hamilton-Wentworth DSB English and French Is a French Immersion Instructional Coach,a longtime Hamilton Tiger-Cats fan, and is learning to ride Cyclocross. Beverly Kukhta-Jackson (2015-2017) Hamilton-Wentworth DSB French, English Loves connecting people with resources and other people.

Sharon Lajoie (2016-2019) Peterborough Victoria Northumberland & Clarington Catholic DSB English, French, Danish and Spanish Has lived and worked overseas (in 7 countries). Loves learning new languages.

Susanna Beatrice-Gojsic (2nd Vice-President/ Conference Chair) Hamilton-Wentworth DSB French, Italian, English Hates clowns. Her youngest brother is 20 years younger than her. Her family is her world. Pamela Marshall-Gray (Treasurer) Near North DSB French and English Enjoys family camping, sitting in front of the campfire, and Pinterest. Josée Boutin (2015-2017) Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB French, English Responsible for Centre DELF-DALF Centre, Sud Ontario. Pauline Galea (2016-2018) Durham Catholic DSB French, English AIM Certified Teacher/Mentor with a passion for teaching expressive oral language skills, assisting colleagues and collaborating.

Alessandro La Gamba (2016-2019) Webmaster Toronto Catholic DSB French, English, Italian Loves learning new things every day and sharing what he learns. Lisa Picerno (2016-2019) Independent Schools Italian, Spanish and French Has lived in Northern Peru, doing mission work, has studied in Mexico, Spain and France. Josette Bosc Ottawa Catholic School Board French FSL Consultant who loves travel, cooking, learning, and sharing new ideas. Mara Reich Independent Schools, Glendon College,York University Spanish and French Avid traveller, can speak 5 languages and is passionate about musical theatre.

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 6 Quoi de neuf 1 MON EXPÉRIENCE DE PERFECTIONNEMENT PROFESSIONNEL À EDMONTON Par Annette Gagliano, EAO (Halton Catholic District School Board) Du 7 au 8 avril j’ai eu le grand honneur de présenter et d’assister à la conférence nationale Langues sans frontières 2017 pour les enseignants de langues secondes qui avait lieu au Shaw Conference Centre à Edmonton, en Alberta.

Cette conférence était organisée par l’Association canadienne des professeures de langues secondes (CASTLT/ACPLS) en partenariat avec l’Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE) du Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB).

C’était une expérience incroyable pour moi. J’ai rencontré une foule d’éducateurs des langues secondes venant de partout du Canada. Cette expérience m’a permis d’ouvrir mes horizons et d’acquérir les connaissances sur la riche diversité culturelle et linguistique qui existe au Canada. Les locuteurs des langues différentes, telles que le français, l’allemand, l’anglais, le chinois, le japonais, le cree, le michif, l’arabe, le polonais, l’espagnol, l’italien, et plus, se sont réunis à Edmonton. Suivant les thèmes relatifs à l’apprentissage langagier, cette présente conférence a accueilli la tenue de la Rencontre sur les langues autochtones en offrant des séances et des activités culturelles de l’enseignement des langues autochtones.

L’objectif, selon Darrel Robertson, surintendant des écoles de la Edmonton Public Schools, est de « contribuer au soutien de la préservation, de la revitalisation et du renforcement des langues autochtones . Lors de la conférence, on a célébré les cultures des peuples indigènes et d’autres groupes ethniques en observant et en participant aux plusieurs activités culturelles comme les danses sur des chansons à répondre traditionnelles canadiennes- françaises, une danse en ligne, et une danse ronde autochtone. On a aussi écouté un groupe de joueurs de tambours traditionnel japonais et une chanson traditionnelle des peuples indigènes.

Plusieurs exposants étaient présents, tels qu’IDÉLLO, une référence canadienne en contenus éducatifs francophones, le Goethe-Institut Canada, une organisation qui a pour but de promouvoir la connaissance de la langue allemande, et le YMCA Youth Exchanges, un programme d’échanges d’élèves au Canada. Je ne peux pas oublier qu’un exposant était notre Association ontarienne des professeurs de langues vivantes (OMLTA/AOPLV)! Les exposants ont révélé une panoplie de ressources et de programmes concernant l’apprentissage et l’enseignement des langues secondes qui existe au Canada.

Le conférencier principal le vendredi était Alexandre Trudeau, cinéaste, journaliste et raconteur.

Il a parlé de l’importance de l’apprentissage des langues chez les élèves. Apprendre une nouvelle langue est une démarche qui développe les citoyens mondiaux. Comme pédagogues des langues secondes, nous jouons un rôle intégral à aider nos élèves à se préparer à leur entrée sur le marché du travail avec une bonne intelligence interculturelle. L’acquisition des compétences interculturelle n’est pas le seul avantage d’apprendre une langue. La conférencière principale le samedi, Dre Mary Grantham O’Brien, a présenté son analyse sur l’influence positive de l’apprentissage d’une langue seconde. Les études ont montré que l’apprentissage d’une nouvelle langue a des avantages cognitifs, académiques, personnels, sociétaux, et économiques, ainsi qu’à d’autres avantages.

Langues sans frontières est une conférence biannuaire. La prochaine conférence aura lieu du 2 au 4 mai 2019 à Fredericton, au Nouveau- Brunswick. Si vous pouvez y aller, je vous recommande fortement d’assister à cette expérience unique du perfectionnement professionnel afin d’approfondir vos connaissances sur l’enseignement et l’apprentissage des langues secondes en vous apportant la richesse d’une mise en commun d’expériences d’enseignement à travers le Canada. Vous pourrez en profiter pleinement !

Légende des photos : 1. La conférence Langue frontières 2017 aura lieu dans le Shaw Conference Centre à Edmonton.

2. Les participants à la conférence se réunissent dans Hall A du Shaw Conference Centre pour commencer leur apprentissage. (Cette photo est d’une capture d’écran d’une vidéo publiée par le Edmonton Journal, trouvée ici http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/globetrotting- trudeau-speaks-at-edmonton-language-conference.) 3. Une photo de moi prise dans un kiosque de photos à la conférence. 2 3

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 7 Quoi de neuf Quelques suggestions: 1 seconde 1 minute 1 siècle par Catherine Grive et Muriel Kerba Un album sur la notion du temps USING LITERATURE TO TEACH MATHEMATICS DANS LA CLASSE DE FRANÇAIS: • Is a non-threatening way to teach and connect to the learner’s existing mathematical understanding; • Provides a natural context for talking and communicating about math; • Allows for different learning styles and offers opportunities for student collaboration and discussion; • Makes meaningful connections with students’ previous knowledge and the world outside of school; • Increases interest and motivation; • Promotes critical thinking; • Encourages communication and justification; • Introduces mathematical languages and terms in a familiar context, allowing students to begin to construct meaning for these words; • Promotes the development of mathematical thinking; • Allows for a variety of responses and the relevant use of manipulatives; • Provides a natural setting for observing mathematics in the real world, making it come alive and conveying real meaning; • Promotes mathematical tasks/problems that are worth solving and talking about

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 8 The First Five Years FROM ALEPPO TO BRAMPTON: CRISIS, COMMUNICATION AND HOPE by Mary Lozowsky Imagine making life-changing plans with a stranger, half-way across the world - a stranger who does not speak your language. That was my situation in the fall of 2015 when my parish sponsored a Syrian refugee family. What is one to do? I turned to Facebook. I searched their profiles for clues. There were postings in Arabic, Armenian and English. Before their arrival I sent messages in the simplest language possible and they answered in kind. In conversation, I walked the line of cautious optimism.

We didn’t know if they would even pass their screening. On their arrival at the airport in January, I was reasonably confident that we could get by with careful English and many gestures. However, we brought a volunteer translator as back-up. We were delighted to discover that the oldest son spoke English well. He learned by playing on-line video games. Who knew that gaming was so important to real life?

Early on, communication was exhausting. The newcomers had questionsthat weretoocomplexforthemtoexpress.Fortunately,wefoundamazingresources:our translator,LanguageInstructionforNewcomerstoCanada(LINC)andtheBrampton MulticulturalCommunityCentre.AttheCentreawarmandknowledgeableArabic speakingwomanconversedeasilywiththemaboutmanypressingissues.Theyhad acomprehensiveintroductiontoCanadianvalues,holidaysandbureaucracy.Eagerto begoodCanadians,theyappreciatedtheselessons. A crucial service our team provided was simply being with the family. We drank Turkish coffee and ate delicious Syrian food, played backgammon and talked.

They listened intently, first to grasp the content, then to learn proper grammar, pronunciation and idioms. Conversation in this relaxed, trusting environment was vital to the development of their language. Even more, it was crucial for their healing. We listened as they told stories of the trauma they endured. As their English improved, the stories got more detailed. The more they were able to express the pain, the better they could release it.

Our friends’ English continues to improve with the generous help of their 6 year old. She is always happy to correct their grammar. On the anniversary of their arrival in Canada, the wife gave an eloquent speech of thanks to the parish. Recently the father started driving Uber. He was rated “excellent” in conversation. I am awed by their courage, determination and beautiful spirit. They make Canada a better place. Mary Lozowsky is a chaplain, working at Christ the King Catholic Secondary School in Georgetown. This article is written in appreciation of Canada’s cultural diversity and of the crucial role holistic language education plays in building competence and full inclusion.

Newcomer with his daughter and Mary’s Granddaughter on the day of their arrival in Canada. EST-CE QUE TU ES ÉCOLO? As a first year French Immersion Kindergarten teacher, I was eager to find ways of creating invitations to encourage my students to be environmentally responsible young citizens. First, I purchased two mid- sized green compost bins—one for the endless use of paper towels in the washroom and the other bin was conveniently placed in the classroom for composting food scraps. I quickly realized that my students needed “eco” language so they could communicate about the environment, and it wasn’t long before my 3 to 5 year old students were saying “le compostage”.

Two blue bins or “boites bleues” were already in place, so it was just a matter of discussing what “le programme de recyclage” was all about. Fortunately, the 3 R’s mnemonic translates quite well into French: Réduire, Réutiliser et Recycler. I added an important fourth R— Refuser—which is a hard concept for a 4-year old to fathom. The students, ever inquisitive, love to explore the contents of those 4 bins, and the smelly green one holds a special allure. Presently, the enticement of le compostage is leading us to our best interactive project yet—”le vermicompostage”! Oui, les vers! And all of this is to avoid the dreaded “la poubelle”.

As language and actions intersect, we are learning the true meaning of the phrase, “Ne gaspille pas, ne demande pas.”

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 9 Spring Conference Respect, exploration, innovation SPRING CONFERENCE 2017 – CONGRÈS DU PRINTEMPS DE 2017 The OMLTA team was delighted to welcome over 100 presenters from across the province, country, and continent to share their knowledge, experiences, best practices, and engaging materials with the over 600 attendees from as far away as Mexico to our event this year. With 60 vendor tables and booths to enjoy, there was lots of shopping and learning happening at the same time! It is always thrilling to see so many engaged, energized, and enthusiastic educators in one place.

My goal with this year’s event was to address issues of equity and inclusive education and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives and learning in a purposeful, relevant way for our second language classes. As we are expected to ensure that our FSL and International Languages classes are more meaningful, relevant, and inclusive as ever, I was certain that the time was right for an OMLTA conference whose overarching principles and goals responded to these themes. Respect, exploration, innovation was our bilingual French-English motto for 2017, and the timing could not be more appropriate to express our support for and encouragement of these values among our fellow educators, school communities, and home communities.

It was a pleasure to welcome Elder Peter Schuler to open our conference with beautiful stories and wisdom that spoke directly to our theme. Our outstanding keynote speaker, Dr. Jan Hare from the University of British Columbia, spoke eloquently about how to indigenize our classrooms and communities in purposeful ways that support all learners.

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OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 10 Spring Conference Respect, exploration, innovation Our colleagues with whom we network, share ideas, and trade tales are also valuable allies and supporters on this journey. Our students will always inspire and move us to do more, to go further, and to explore deeper. All of these individuals play important roles in our professional learning and in our trajectory towards becoming even stronger educators, yet the responsibility lies in each of us as individuals to make that first step, to show that initiative, and to better ourselves in order to best serve the young people in our care.

Equity and inclusive education are more than buzz words or content of our curricula’s front matter: it is at the cornerstone of all that we do to ensure that our young people are represented in our programming. Best wishes to you all as you continue on that path, and may your learning and reflection from the 2017 OMLTA/AOPLV Spring Conference be a positive impact on all that you do. I extend sincere thanks to the Executive and Board of Directors of the OMLTA, the wonderful staff of the International Plaza Hotel, especially Ms. Jai Rao, and the student volunteers who donated their time to be at the event and who were able to learn from each of you.

A big thanks to our outstanding Administrative Assistant, Sonia Blanchard, who did so much to assure smooth sailing for all again in 2017. To our exhibitors and presenters: again, our warmest thanks for being a part of this year’s event.

I am very proud to be an International Languages and Core, Extended, and Immersion teacher. I am equally proud of having been a member of the OMLTA Board of Directors for eight years now! The conference remains the professional development highlight for hundreds of International Languages and FSL educators across the province, so I am delighted that so many individuals were able to be a part of it. Please enjoy, learn, grow, and continue to respect, explore, and innovate again this Fall in Hamilton and again at our 2018 Spring Conference.

Miigwech. Qujannamiik. Danke schön. Gracias.

Obrigado. Grazie. Merci. Jimmy Steele, 2017 Spring Conference Chair

OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 11 Spring Conference Respect, exploration, innovation SALUT!, OLAH, HELLO! Once again, the OMLTA/AOLPV 2017 spring conference was not only inspiring and empowering for attendees, but for presenters as well! Each year the organizers are stepping up their achieving goals and vision to a higher level of performance, and to provide a higher level of service and professional education to our colleagues educators! Thank you to the OMLTA team for your continuous devotion and dedication to the cause of language education! I have recently retired as a secondary teacher, but have not shied away from my career and vocation.

Presenting our TLLP (Teacher Learning & Leadership Program) project at the conference, while integrating this year’s motto ‘Respect, Exploration and Innovation’ was another awesome experience. As a presenter and from a personal point of view, sharing our educative experience gave us another learning perspective for our own metacognitive analysis and reflection. We certainly gained knowledge and insight.

Professionally, presenting at the OMLTA conference allowed us to focus on the goal and purpose of the TLLP presentation for a hungry audience. Initiating our project did require an idea and extensive planning, but more importantly, sharing its steps, pros and cons with our colleagues present at the session, has enabled attendees to partake in the sharing. Their interests sparked them to question and discuss the outcomes of our project, and eventually to plan for their own projects, or problem of practice (POP) for school improvement in student learning and/or teaching practices. The presentation fostered collaboration amongst language educators and professional partners and delivered practical avenues in language learning.

We believe their presence at the presentation has equipped them to be proactive in their endeavor and to take future trajectories that will benefit teaching and learning for both educators and learners.

C’était un grand plaisir d’avoir eu l’occasion de participer à la conférence du printemps AOLPV (Association Ontarienne des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes) 2017. Comme d’habitude, l’expérience était si enrichissante qu’elle ne pouvait pas être manquée, surtout lorsque notre vocation en dépend. L’occasion pertinente de présenter notre projet “Communiquons en Français” avec PALPE (Programme d’apprentissage et de leadership du personnel enseignant), nous a aidées à le façonner davantage, à entrevoir ses défis et à planifier sa continuation pour les années futures au Conseil HCDSB.

Ce qui nous a beaucoup encouragé, c’est d’avoir vécu et témoigné l’intérêt des membres et des participants de l’audience avec leurs commentaires, questions et suggestions.

C’est une des caractéristiques de la mission de AOPLV, soit d’inciter à la collaboration entre éducatrices et éducateurs de langue seconde. Ce partage a vraiment démontré les attentes que l’équipe organisatrice de la conférence avait prédites: “Respect, Exploration et Innovation”! Les participants n’ont non seulement participé activement pendant la présentation, mais ont bénéficié des idées et ressources pour leur propre projet, problème de pratique et besoins d’enrichissement pour leurs apprenants et collègues. Ceci a fourni des pratiques pédagogiques innovatrices dans le domaine de l’apprentissage de langues secondes!

OMLTA/AOPLV AWARDS RECIPIENTS The following people received awards at OMLTA’s Spring Conference Awards Breakfast on March 31, 2017. Congratulations go out to: Life Member: Mercedes Gagnon (Ministry of Education) Honorary Member: Guy Leclair (CASLT) H.H. (David) Stern: Jennifer Bibby Helen B. St. John: Anne Normand (PVNCCDSB) Helen G. Mitchell: Jenna Lam (OISE) Belinda Olij (Brock) Stephanie Manych (Laurentian) Sarah Sturgeon (Queen’s) Emily Seiling (Nipissing) France Michaud (U of O) Margaret Omori (Trent) Kim Dent (Laurier) Yanika Coto (York) Je remercie sincèrement mon équipe Ida Continenza, Luisa Urso pour m’avoir fait confiance avec l’initiative et la mise sur pied du projet ‘Communiquons en Français’.

Elles ont fait preuve de patience, de coopération et d’initiative pendant son déroulement depuis septembre dernier 2016. Je remercie aussi Natalie Cook qui a pris la relève et qui continuera le projet pour 2017 et 2018.

Je remercie aussi l’équipe AOLPV pour l’énorme dévouement qu’elle apporte chaque année à ses membres! ‘Siento no poder escribir Español, confoundi siempre con l’Italiano. Qué pena!’ Mis disculpas, Hasta la proxima! À bientôt, Lucie Brun del Re BSC, OCT,Masters Education, Masters Religious Studies.

OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 12 Take It And Make It Yours MY EXPERIENCE IN THE AIM PUBLISHING CONTEST The annual AIM Publishing Contest invites students to create engaging story extensions based on AIM plays. My students have participated in the contest two years in a row now, and I can honestly say that it has been one of the richest learning experiences I have had to date as a French teacher.

When I first learned about the contest, I thought it could be a great opportunity for students who needed an extra challenge. I didn’t expect the overwhelmingly high interest for the project that my students showed, regardless of ability level, the first time I mentioned it. Overall, 15 of my grade 5 students signed up for the contest last year, and even more did so this year. Most decided to work with a partner, with one student doing the illustrations and the other one writing the book itself; other students wanted to be responsible for both jobs.

The first thing we focused on was logistics: when would the students work on the project and which resources would they use? We dedicated one French period per week to working on the stories and agreed on recesses when students could come in to the French room and continue. Moreover, students were welcome to work on their books in class once their regular work was completed. I gave them a deadline for their rough copy and we got to work. It was my first time running this kind of project in my school, and I was definitely learning as much as my students!

Since the story extensions have to be based on AIM plays, we first reviewed all the plays they have done since grade 1.

It was heart- warming to watch my students’ faces light up as they remembered the play performances and fun stories from the “old days”! Some of them still recalled their lines from grade 1 and spontaneously recited them! We discussed what “creative story extension” could actually mean, how to incorporate characters from various AIM plays, and what kind of positive message and moral their story could have. These were very animated discussions, boosting both my students’ creativity and imagination, as well as my own.

We also discussed some of the tools they could use when writing their stories. The main resources were the scripts of the plays themselves, packed with high frequency vocabulary and useful sentence structures. I also showed them how to use the helpful online dictionary www.wordreference.com, which I normally introduce in grade 6. In fact, when last year’s “writers” started grade 6, since many of them had participated in this project, they already knew how to use this handy tool, and were very eager to teach their classmates about it. It was rewarding to see how empowered they felt by this knowledge!

Another resource that I introduced to them at this early stage of the project was a wonderful booklet from Canadian Parents for French called “Keys to French”. Just like the online dictionary, we normally start using this resource in grade 6, but as my grade 5s were working on their stories, there were so many opportunities for them to learn how to use “Keys to French” that it was a shame not to seize them! I made it very clear from the beginning that one of the key expectations of this project was for the students to work independently. I was happy to provide guidance and feedback on their books, coach them throughout the process, and help them with editing and organizational issues.

It was up to them, however, to figure out how they would like to work, divide tasks, convey their message in French and, last but not least, respect the deadlines. While some couldn’t wait to start the actual writing, I recommended they work on the book outline first. Some of them figured that out on their own, while some couldn’t resist the urge to write, but later realized that they did indeed need a plan after all.

It was fascinating to watch my students work on their books, discuss different ideas, try some of them, reject others, and learn to negotiate and compromise, especially when a team of two was working together on the same book. There were moments of frustration, as well. At times, they felt stuck and ready to give up because the task seemed too overwhelming. Writing a 20-chapter book and working on 20 illustrations is not an easy feat, especially when you are doing it in your second language, and you are only 10 or 11 years old! My students learned a lot about planning their work and organizing their ideas, making a schedule and sticking to it, while keeping in mind that unexpected things can happen to slow down their progress.

They also learned when to take a break and when to push through frustration and fatigue. Those who wrote the book as a duo learned a lot about teamwork, clear communication, respecting their partner’s point of view, and adjusting to each other’s work style. Students who worked on their own learned how to keep themselves motivated and engaged, and how to ask for help and support when needed. As deadlines approached, the group of students who continued with the project narrowed down to just a few. Those were the students who were really driven by a competitive streak, and the realization that the more they invested in their project, the more motivated they felt to finish it.

They wanted to work on their books almost every day, sometimes literally chasing me around the school and asking when they could come in at recess and keep working! At this point,

OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 13 MY EXPERIENCE IN THE AIM PUBLISHING CONTEST (CONT’D) some students decided to withdraw from the competition because they couldn’t meet the fast approaching deadlines, but they decided to keep writing their books in the hopes of having them published through our school’s own program. More importantly, students continued to write just “for the fun of it”. The contest ignited the desire to write among students and, while some couldn’t finish in time, their interest for writing in French was undeterred and kept them motivated.

We submitted two books for the contest last year, and we were so excited to learn that one of them had even made it to the finals! We did not win, but the experience was so enriching, fulfilling and inspiring for the whole school that many other students started thinking of participating in the contest this year.

I remember running into one of our students in my neighborhood on a hot day in early August, and learned that she had been giving a lot of thought to her future book since the beginning of summer vacation. She was so excited to share her ideas with me that she was oblivious to the fact that we were both standing under the blistering sun! Once I received confirmation that the contest would run again this year, I immediately shared the news with my students. This year, since we had a few books completed within the deadline, we had to run an internal contest to decide which two books would represent our school in the AIM contest.

The competition was fierce and it was a tough decision to make because all the books were well written and worthy of representing our school at the contest. It was interesting to see that some of the students who participated last year gave it another try and wrote a new book this year. They are already talking about participating again next year! These students offered very valuable advice to new participants as they shared their experiences from last year and reflected on how they had learned from their mistakes and oversights.

It has been very rewarding to watch my students grow so much throughout this project, becoming not only better writers and stronger French students, but also stronger overall students with improved work habits, communication and organizational skills. Thank you, AIM Language Learning, for offering such an exciting enrichment opportunity for students. Mine have learned so much, but to me, the best part is that they don’t even consider it “work” at all. I remember two students asking for permission to stay in for another recess to work on their book. When I expressed my concern that they were working too hard and needed to relax and have some fun, one of them looked at me in disbelief and said: “Madame, what do you mean? This IS fun!” I don’t think I could have asked for a more rewarding testimonial.

Irina Klimenko HOW MY SCHOOL ORGANIZES ITS FRENCH PUBLIC SPEAKING CONTEST AND BENEFITS Organizing a French Public Speaking Contest requires careful planning and the cooperation and collaboration of many teachers in the school. It is truly a team effort. In the end, the benefits are great for all participating students, not just those who are eventually chosen to continue to the regional level. Also, the planners and mentors are gratified to see the development and ultimate accomplishments of the students. The students must apply themselves to learn the speech writing process, plan and rehearse, and then present an effective presentation of their speech at the class level and school level.

This is a fantastic experience as the students learn to be organized, dedicated and patient. They must perservere through all obstacles and doubts. It is so satisfying to see the students develop through this process and to gain confidence. They must conquer the greatest fear of all, public speaking. This challenge is difficult enough to achieve in our own mother tongue but to do it in a second or third language is an amazing feat. Their sense of accomplishment is Take It And Make It Yours formidable. It is exciting to see them succeed in attaining their own personal goals.

At our school we begin organizing the French Public Speaking Contest early in January. The contest is usually held the first week of March so that we can select the students who will move forward to the regional level. I start collaborating with other teachers from grades 4 to 8 to begin the speech writing process which takes a significant amount of time. The students need to prepare, edit, rehearse and finally present their speech in each of their individual classes and then one student is picked from their respective grades. This process usually takes to the end of February to complete. As part of the speech presentation ceremony, our school includes the recital of selected poetry passages by students from grades 1, 2 and 3 delivered between the student speeches.

These breaks between speeches provides entertainment for the audience while the judges are filling out their evaluation of each speaker. The poem recitals are always well received and they provide valuable experience for these younger students as they get a chance to present in front of a larger audience. This experience provides them the impetus and momentum

OMLTA/ AOPLV - SPRING/ SUMMER 2017 14 Take It And Make It Yours HOW MY SCHOOL ORGANIZES ITS FRENCH PUBLIC SPEAKING CONTEST AND BENEFITS (CONT’D) to prepare them for Public Speaking later in Grade 4. This can only happen with the cooperation and collaboration of the teachers of grades 1, 2 and 3 as they are instrumental in assisting their students for this event. During early January we begin searching for three proficient French speaking judges from the community who are willing to take the time to be a judge for our French Public Speaking Contest and can be available on the specific date of the contest.

Possible judges can be teachers from the Elementary and Secondary school levels, retired teachers, administrators, Board Trustees, consultants, Parish Priests, library technicians, etc. The judges have the difficult task of choosing the students from each of our five French categories (Core, Extended French Junior, Extended French Intermediate, Immersion and FSL Plus, Francophone category) who will best represent our school at the Region level. We are very thankful and appreciative of our judges who take time out of their busy schedules to assist us with our French Public Speaking Contest.

As a small token, we make available treats and refreshments to them as they deliberate.

In early February we order the medals to be awarded to the speakers and the medals are usually purchased through one of our local Community Providers. Certificates are also prepared later in February when we know the student names from each class. Usually, we present certificates to all the students participating in our French Public Speaking Contest. The medals will depend on how many students participating in each of our five French categories. There will be five winner medals along with participant medals. Further, we prepare information brochures of the French Public Speaking Contest that are handed out to teachers, friends and family members of the Public Speakers and presenters on the Contest date.

When it is closer to the Contest date we prepare an M.C. script for two intermediate students who will lead the French Public Speaking event. The M.C. script is written and delivered in both French and English to provide understanding to everyone at this event. Other intermediate students are chosen to be the ushers, door holders and time-keepers for the judges. We have a couple of rehearsal days before the Contest date so everyone from the Public Speakers to the M.C.’s and poetry presenters all feel comfortable and know what to do on the day of the Contest to ensure a smooth running Contest.

As is evident, our French Public Speaking Contest is a school-wide endeavour and we want the maximum participation of the students. This helps create school spirit and comraderie.

Finally, on the day of the French Public Speaking Contest, all the French classes are invited from grades 1 to 8 including the parents of students presenting or speaking. The M.C.’s begin with the sign of our faith and a prayer and proceed to introduce the judges who each go to their respective table and chair where they will find the evaluation rubrics summary with the candidate’s speech title in the order they will speak. Three to four students from grades 1 to 3 will each present their poetry pieces after each speaker and at the end of the speeches, when the judges are invited to deliberate.

We then usually have a grade 5 or 6 class perform a song in French, or have the choir showcase their musical talents to entertain the audience until the judges are ready to announce the winners. If this could not be organized earlier with those teachers then everyone will go out for recess while judges deliberate. Once the judges have finished their deliberations, everyone is invited back to the gym for the announcement of the winners.

The French Public Speaking Contest is an important event for our school and is always enjoyed by all. The participating students grow in skill and confidence from the experience. The parents and friends can be proud of the significant accomplishment of their loved one. The school benefits from an enhanced profile in the community, school spirit and comraderie. The organizers and mentors take satisfaction for helping to bring it all together and seeing the fruits of their work. My name is Sarah Fabbiani and I am currently a grade 1 Early French Immersion teacher for the Halton Catholic District School Board.

I have taught in Extended French Grades 5-8, Core French Grades 4-8 and Grades 1 and 2 for this Board. Also my experience extends to teaching grades 1-6 Immersion for the Sudbury Catholic District School Borad. I am writing this article because I am a fervent believer that students can achieve success in a second language if they are given the opportunity and the challenge to succeed. I truly enjoy being part of and participating in the development of the French language of our youth. Writing this article has allowed me to reflect on all the positive benefits resulting from this event and has reinforced my committment to continue this effort.

It is my hope that this article will provide useful suggestions to other OMLTA members to benefit their event.

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