SAHLA 2015 Languages Symposium

SAHLA 2015 Languages Symposium

SAHLA is hosting its 2015 Languages Education Symposium  on Saturday October 31, 2015, from 9 am – 3 pm at the Executive Royal Inn, 2828- 23 St. NE

The theme of this year’s Symposium is “Languages learning for cultural identity, global citizenship, career opportunities and life-long learning.

9:00 am – Registration / Breakfast

9:45 am Symposium Opens.

Welcome from SAHLA Coordinator Michael Gretton and SAHLA President Michael Embaie

10:00 am Session I

University of Calgary Continuing Education: Teaching Second Languages (TSL) Professional Development Program.

Presenter: Ana-Marija Petrunic, Manager Teaching & Learning ESL, U of C Continuing Education

Host: Ingrid Smith, Director, SAHLA

In this presentation, we will review the Teaching Second Languages program at the University of Calgary through a review of the courses offered as well as through the voices of past and present course participants.  Learn how taking professional development courses in teaching second languages will enhance the skills you already have as a language educator and how these courses will help inform your own teaching practice. Discover how taking TSL courses can broaden the art and the science of teaching languages.


Ana-Marija Petrunic is the Manager of Teaching and Learning, English Language Program, Continuing Education at the University of Calgary. In addition to leading the instructional team in curriculum design, teacher professional development, and best practices, her role also includes supervising practicum students and teacher training. Her academic research focuses on the intersection of identity formation and education.

10:45 am Session II:

Presenter: Constantine Ioannou, International Languages Educators’ Association (ILEA).

-Host: Georgia Paschalis, Director, SAHLA

Workshop 1 – Talk It Up!

This interactive workshop will provide numerous easy initiatives for teachers to implement into their classrooms that are aimed at increasing communication and cooperation in language classrooms. Ideas presented can be modified to various contexts, age groups and classrooms and bring a sense of purpose back to communicative lessons.  

11:30 am Session III

Presenter: Constantine Ioannou, International Languages Educators’ Association (ILEA).

International Languages in Ontario – Past Excellence and Future Opportunity

Constantine will provide an outline of the Ministry-mandated program of International Languages (IL) in the province of Ontario and how this mandate  of several decades ago has helped to create a society that is more cohesive, inclusive and linguistically and culturally aware. Constantine will provide an overview of recent initiatives to both IL-E and IL-S programs in the province of Ontario and how ILEA (the association) works to provide support to both teachers and school administrators in the implementation of Ministry directions in IL programs.

Constantine Ioannou works as a program director for international projects and exchanges for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Constantine is a former teacher, curriculum supervisor and materials writer for English and International Languages and serves as Director of ILEA (international languages educators’ association) Ontario.   He is an active teacher trainer for Canadian ESL and international language teachers and international teachers of English. 

12:00 pm lunchtime. Speech from Michael Embaie, President, SAHLA

-Introduction of keynote speaker: Vinay Dey, Treasurer, SAHLA.

-Keynote speaker: Honourable Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services, Government of Alberta.

Irfan Sabir was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Calgary-McCall, on May 5, 2015. On May 24, 2015 he was appointed as Minister of Human Services. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, he practiced in aboriginal law at a national law firm in Calgary beginning in 2012. Previous to this, he worked as a research assistant with the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary (U of C).

He also worked with the Salvation Army for five years and worked as a real estate agent with the Calgary Real Estate Board between 2006 and 2007. In addition, Mr. Sabir has volunteered with Calgary Legal Guidance and Canadian Red Cross. In addition to holding a juris doctor degree from the U of C, he has a degree in social work from the U of C and a degree in economics from the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. Born in Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, he has called Calgary home since 2004.

1:15 pm Session IV:

Community Language School Panel Session

-Host: Susan Eng, Director, SAHLA

Principals from a variety of schools will share some highlights about their school programs including brief history, purpose of school, curriculum, activities, challenges and successes.

Wenshan Zeng, Yu Feng Chinese Language School

Peter Zuba, John Paul II Polish Language School

Mussie Yemane, Eritrean Language School

Abraham Isaac, Malayalam Language School

Dr Sofiane Benhaddad, Horizon Academy

2:30 pm – Closing remarks: Michael Gretton, Coordinator, SAHLA

2:45 pm – Symposium Close

Click here for the Symposium program agenda and registration form