"Moving Forward Together" - A Conference on Higher-Level Language Training - Day 2

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Niagara Falls, Ontario - March 25-28, 2008

Session Notes and Presentation Files'

All files are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Conference Introduction

This professional development conference provided workshops, information and resources to frontline staff who work in ELT funded projects in Ontario.

A conference objective was to equip ELT and Bridge Training Program Staff with information, tools and knowledge to better assist them in the delivery of their programs and to ensure that immigrant newcomers receive the maximum benefit from ELT services and interventions.

The conference examined current issues related to the delivery of the ELT program, as well as best practice models within the ELT program.

Please note that presentation files are not available for every workshop/plenary presentation.

Download the complete conference package - PDF format [382 KB, 42 pages].

Plenary and Panel Session - Thursday, March 27, 2008

Plenary - Minister for Citizenship and Immigration
When - Thursday, March 27 (8:30 am)
Location - Great Room B & C (3rd Floor)
The Honourable Diane Finley
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Presenter Profile - Diane Finley

Diane Finley was appointed Minister for Citizenship and Immigration on January 4, 2007.

Ms. Finley was first elected to Parliament in 2004 and was then re-elected in 2006. Since her election, she has served as Official Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food. On February 6, 2006, Ms. Finley was appointed Minister for Human Resources and Social Development by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper.

Plenary - National Perspective on the Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Initiative

When - Thursday, March 27 (8:45 am - 10:00 am)
Location - Great Room B & C (3rd Floor)
Presenter - Jean Séguin
The Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Initiative

This plenary presentation will offer a national overview of the Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Initiative. Some examples of innovative ELT initiatives will be highlighted as well as findings from the recent ELT evaluation.


Presenter Profile - Jean Séguin

Jean is the Director of the Settlement -Client-Centered programs in Integration Branch at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. He is a career public servant with 25 years of service in areas ranging from environmental sciences, social marketing to the promotion of Canadian citizenship. His current responsibilities include providing specialized adaptation and settlement programs to Canada?s newcomers as well as developing special programming to improve the labour market integration of newcomers to Canada.

Plenary - Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

When - Thursday, March 27 (10:50 am - 11:00 am)
Location - Great Room B & C (3rd Floor)
The Honourable Michael Chan
Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Presenter Profile - Michael Chan

Michael Chan was elected to the Ontario legislature in a by-election in 2007 and re-elected in a general election later that year. He previously served as Minister of Revenue. Before joining government, Chan owned his own insurance brokerage in Markham the York Alliance Insurance Brokers/Financial Depot with 30 employees and hundreds of agents.

He is a member of the Markham Board of Trade and the Canadian Chinese Insurance Professionals Association.

Plenary - Employer Panel: Seeing Through Their Hiring Lens

When - Thursday, March 27 (11:00 am - 12:40 pm)
Location - Great Room B & C (3rd Floor)
Facilitator - Peter Larson
Panel - Catherine MacEwen, Daniela Mayol, Arsenio Bonifacio and Susan Rogers

This facilitated panel discussion will provide delegates a greater understanding of employer?s needs with regards the language skills of potential newcomer employee candidates (seeing it through your "hiring lens"). Participants will become more aware of what employers are looking for, to understand why that newcomer did or did not gain employment within an organization. This increased understanding will allow delegates to incorporate that knowledge into their teaching and curriculum. Participants will hear employer policies, strategies and programs that have been undertaken with regards the recruitment, employment and advancement of newcomers within their organizations. Delegates will come away with a greater understanding of employer needs resulting in programs being more aligned with those needs. The ultimate goal is to assist a greater number of skilled newcomers in obtaining employment in their chosen field.

Panel Members

  • Catherine MacEwenis currently the Senior Manager, HR, Safety and Marketing Communications for Toronto and Region Conservation, Ontario's largest environmental organization. Catherine has led the HR team in several initiatives to assist internationally trained professionals to find work in their field and in the environmental sector. These initiatives have included conducting workshops and managing mentorship and certification programmes and conducting volunteer activities to give new Canadians that important Canadian experience..
  • Daniela Mayolis the Senior Manager, Hbc Talent Planning and Acquisition at The Hudson's Bay Company. Since joining Hbc in 2005, Daniela has been a major force behind the drive for building partnerships with government agencies to support Hbc's recruitment strategy. She was previously the Divisional Staffing Manager for the Canadian Division of Home Depot. She has 22 years of Human Resources experience with emphasis on Workforce Planning and Recruitment and Selection strategies.
  • Arsenio Bonifaciowas asked to lead the marketing efforts for Edward Jones Canada in 2003. From October 2005 through February 2007, Arsenio assumed the additional responsibility of leading marketing efforts in the United Kingdom. With his focus back on Canada, Arsenio manages all advertising, public relations and new business development opportunities. One of his key responsibilities is partnering with the Edward Jones Recruiting teams to attract qualified candidates to the firm. Edward Jones is a financial-services industry leader recognized for providing excellent investor satisfaction.
  • Susan Rogers is the Manager, Workplace Inclusiveness for Xerox Canada.She has the responsibility for leading inclusiveness initiatives in the company. Her 20-year professional career with Xerox includes several years in sales, marketing, management, and, most recently, human resources - each with increasing responsibility and employee span. In 2003, Susan joined the human resources department with the responsibility for developing management competencies primarily focused on enabling managers to build the critical people skills required to successfully lead teams. In 2005, Susan was assigned the responsibility for developing, implementing and leading inclusiveness initiatives nationally for Xerox Canada.

Breakout Sessions - March 27, 2008 (many sessions were presented twice)

Breakout #35 - ELT Program Profile: Office Management
When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)
(Repeated in Breakout #44 - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)
Location - Great Room C (3rd Floor)
Presenters- Enid Jorsling and Yvonne Hiney

The ELT program, Office Management, is designed to help participants with international office experience upgrade language skills and enhance business communication. The program is generic in terms of office work as it prepares participants for a variety of entry-level office positions. These include Admin Support positions, Secretaries, Clerical Positions, Reception, Office Assistants, Office Managers, Data Entry, and others. Participants are instructed in Business English and Business Office Procedures. They receive an orientation into business office operations according to North American standards and a work placement opportunity related to their area of expertise and interest. The presentation will profile the challenges and successes of this ELT Initiative.


Presenter Profile - Enid Jorsling

Enid Jorsling is the ELT Coordinator for Halton Multicultural Council. She has developed curriculum for ELT Office Management and delivered the program for the first year. As well she has delivered CGA Business Communications CGA curriculum for Bridge-to-work program to international Accountants preparing for CGA examination and been a LINC Instructor with HMC and the Centre for Education and Training and Peel District School Board. Previous experience includes Language Assessment, Skills Testing and Adult Education and Training.

Presenter Profile - Yvonne Hiney

Yvonne Hiney is the Work Placement Facilitator for internationally-trained professionals at Halton Multicultural Council. She developed curriculum for a generic ELT Program at the Halton Catholic District School Board Adult Learning Centre and delivered the program for two years.

Breakout #36 - Bridge to Work and ELT: Journalism Program at Sheridan College

When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)
(Repeated in Breakout #45 - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)
Location - Strategy Room 3 (5th Floor)
Presenters - Joyce Wayne and Sandy McKean

Even in language-centred professions, such as journalism, it's possible to offer sector specific ELT classes followed by uniquely designed college programming aimed at ITIs. This presentation will trace the beginnings, the development and the on-going success of the Canadian Journalism for Internationally Trained Writers program launched in January 2007 at Sheridan College. The program grew from an initiative of PEN Canada that attempts to support writers-in-exile once they arrive in Canada. Jointly funded by MCI and CIC, it has become a model for new ITI programming at the college.

In this presentation presenters will address such issues as the importance of industry partners, the on-going challenge of convincing employers to establish policies and procedures for securing new ITI employees, job support after securing work, opportunities for employment in language-based, "intellectual" professions, and how the ITI clientele differs radically from usual college populations.


Presenter Profile - Joyce Wayne

Joyce Wayne is the Director of the Sheridan Centre for Internationally Trained Individuals. In 2007, she launched the Canadian Journalism for Internationally Trained Writers program, a graduate program for newcomer writers and journalists in Canada. The first of its kind in North American, this program became the model for other initiatives for internationally trained professionals developed by Wayne at Sheridan College. Wayne is also an award-winning journalist. She worked as the Editor at Quill & Quire magazine and as the Editorial Director of non-fiction at McClelland & Stewart Publishers.

Presenter Profile - Sandy McKean

Sandy McKean is the Associate Dean of Media and Journalism Studies at Sheridan College's School of Animation, Arts and Design. Prior to joining Sheridan, he spent 37 years in the media industry having worked in newspaper, wire service, radio and television as a journalist, producer, executive producer and senior news manager including the position of Head of Network News for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Breakout #37 - Toronto Catholic District School Board: Profile of Two Specialized Language Training Course

When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)

(Repeated in Breakout #46 - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)

Location - Strategy Room 5 & 6 (5th Floor)

Presenters - Hana Cabaj and Antonella Valeo

The TCDSB is delivering Specialized Language Training courses in 2 streams: A & B:

Project A: Language Training For Childcare Sector

A Learning Path of Specialized Language Training in three areas of childcare:

Course 1: Home Daycare Providers for CLB 3, 4

Course 2: Early Childhood Education Assistants for CLB 4, 5

Course 3: Early Childhood Educators for CLB 6, 7

Project B: Language Training for Employers in the area of home health care

A Learning Path of Language Training in three areas of employment within the area of home health care providers:

Course 1: Cleaners at CLB 3

Course 2: Home support workers at CLB 4, 5

Course 3: Personal support workers at CLB 6, 7

Presenters will share their findings for the above courses in the areas of assessment, data collection, and program evaluation. They will describe the underlying philosophy and practical implications of the TCDSB SLT program for childcare and home healthcare currently in progress.


Presenter Profiles - Sharon Rajabi, Hanna Cabaj and Antonella Valeo

Hanna Cabajis the Coordinator of the Adult Education Program (ESL, Citizenship, LINC, LBS) with the TCDSB. She has been working in the field of adult language programs in Canada and overseas for over 20 years as a teacher, instructor and administrator.

Antonella Valeo is a Program Consultant with the Adult Education Program and a Ph.D. candidate at OISE/UT. She has been involved in employment-focused language programs as an instructor, curriculum developer, teacher trainer and researcher.

Breakout #38 - Fast track to technology Occupations Program: The impact Personal Culture can have on Workplace Success

When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)

(Repeated in Breakout #47 - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)

Location - Great Room B (3rd Floor)

Presenter- Judith Bond

Newcomers to Canadian workplaces need to understand the impact that language, behaviour and attitude (culture) will have on their ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, managers and clients. The Fast Track to Technology Occupations program, a partnership of Centennial and Sheridan Colleges, recognizes that language and behaviour are explicitly linked to cultural values and beliefs and attitudes, and that students need to understand the nuances of Canadian English as it is currently used in Canadian workplaces. In the ?Impact of Culture? part of the course, students explore their own values, communication styles and workplace behaviours. They develop their abilities by demonstrating appropriate workplace behaviours in a variety of situations common to most occupations in Canada such as meetings, performance reviews, daily workplace interactions, and workplace relationships. Students become familiar with human rights legislation in Canada and the impact it has on workplace behaviour. Students gain the knowledge and learn the expectations (often unwritten), to make informed choices about their own behaviour. This workshop will explore resources and teaching techniques useful to instructors who recognize that learners need to make informed choices about language and behaviour.


Presenter Profile - Judith Bond

Judith has designed and delivered training for a number of Bridging programs including Career Bridge, OPTIONS, Fast Track to Technology Occupations (FTTO), and the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation?s (OTEC) Ready to Work Program. She is currently writing curriculum for ELT programs at Sheridan College. Judith has written and co-authored several workplace education resources:

  • CanadaWorks - This book was commissioned by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and is used in language training programs for newcomers. It introduces Canadian work practices and expectations: processes such as just in time, WHMIS, unions, accountability, performance issues etc.
  • Steps to Employment:

Personal Service Occupations

Breakout #39 - Specialized Language Training:

Pre-bridging Language Program for Internationally-Trained Nurses

When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)

(Repeated in Breakout #48 - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)

Location - Strategy Room 2 (5th Floor)

Presenters - Donna Hanson, Deborah Le Baron and Grainne O?Donnell

The Toronto District School Board Adult ESL Department, in partnership the Ontario Ministry Citizenship and Immigration (MCI), is piloting a pre-bridging language program for internationally educated RN?s, RPN?s, OT?s and PT?s. The program is being held at Jones Avenue Adult Centre in the south/east quadrant of the city. To qualify for this program, participants must be assessed at a CLB level 4, 5 and have their professional documents evaluated by the Ontario College of Nurses. The program accepts Canadian Citizens, Landed Immigrants and Refugee Claimants. There are 2 part-time parallel classes running, each with a total of 9 hours per week to accommodate shift work. The course will run for 10 weeks. The goal is to upgrade participants? language requirements to a CLB 6/7 in order to enter a bridging program or a post RN program for Internationally Educated Nurses.

This workshop will cover lessons learned in the following areas:

  • Hiring qualified instructors for ESP courses - what to look for and challenges
  • Screening of candidates
  • Curriculum design, demands and program length


Presenter Profiles -Donna Hanson

Deborah Le Baron and Grainne O'Donnell

Donna Hansonis a Program Officer with the Toronto District School Board and has been active teaching and supervising ESL programs for 18 years. She has presented numerous workshops at TESL Toronto and TESL Ontario on topics as diverse as lesson planning, workplace language, writing and listening.

Deborah LeBaron, M.A., TESL Ontario, has 20 years experience as a Registered Nurse in hospital, community and social work settings.

Grainne O'Donnellis a Program Manager with the Toronto District School Board, managing ESL and SLT projects.

Breakout #40 - Issues in Standardized and Custom-Designed Assessment

When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)

(Repeated in Breakout #49 - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)

Location - Great Room A (3rd Floor)

Presenters - Gail Stewart and Andrea Strachan

Drawing on their experience in the development of large-scale and small-scale assessment instruments, the speakers will explore issues that arise in determining the suitability of existing ESL assessments and in designing and developing instruments for specific purposes. They will discuss the Canadian Language Benchmarks as a framework for designing large-scale and profession-specific assessment tools, addressing methodological challenges, strengths and limitations. Their discourse will be illustrated with specific reference to the TOEFL, IELTS, CLBA, and two specific custom-designed CLB-based instruments, the Michener English Language Assessment (MELA) developed for use in a bridging program for international medical technology professions and the International Pharmacy Graduate Language Assessment (IPGLA) designed for use in a bridging program for pharmacists.


Andrea Strachan- Issues in Standardized and Custom-Designed Assessment]

Gail Stewart - Issues in Standardized and Custom-Designed Assessment]

Presenter Profile - Gail Stewart

Gail Stewart has been active in the Canadian ESL field for 23 years. She has taught in the University of Toronto?s Intensive ESL Program, Faculty of Education, School of Graduate Studies, and Woodsworth College TESL Certificate Program. Gail began working with the Canadian Language Benchmarks in 1995 when the draft document was undergoing its first round of field testing. Since then, her CLB-based projects have included the design and development of several assessment instruments for placement, diagnostic, and eligibility purposes.

Presenter Profile - Andrea Strachan

Andrea Strachan has worked in the ESL field for 18 years in a range of areas including teaching, curriculum design, assessment & testing, language training policy, and bridging initiatives for internationally trained professionals. She has been a member of the Registry of CLB Experts and a CLBPT Assessor & Regional Trainer since 2002, and has contributed to a number of CLB-referenced research projects.

Breakout #41 - ESL for the Transportation Sector:

Specialized Language Training Pilot Projects 2007/08

When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)

(Repeated in Breakout #50 - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)

Location - Upper Fallsview B (5th Floor)

Presenters - Monique Van der Leden and Karen Murray

Professional Transport Language Training

Participants will be introduced to the initiation into the course, the demand for truckers and our ESL student, as well as the unique curriculum and language used in the Transportation Industry. Delegates will learn about the ups and downs of the project and a reflection on two alternative programs will be discussed. A question and answer period will follow.

Presenter Profile - Monique Van der Leden

Monique Van der Leden, a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, has been the ESL Program Manager for St. Louis Adult Learning Center in Kitchener/Waterloo since 2006. The program currently serves over 1200 students at 5 sites.

Presenter Profile - Karen Scott-Murray

Karen Scott-Murray is currently writing the curriculum and teaching a specialized language training program for the Transport Industry at the St. Louis Adult Learning Center in Kitchener/Waterloo.

Breakout 42 - A Description of HARTs

(History of Assessment, Referral and Training System)

When - Thursday, March 27 (2:00 pm - 3:15 pm)

(Repeated in Breakout #50A - 3:40 pm to 4:55 pm)

Location - Strategy Room 7 (5th Floor)

Presenter - Grace Scire

Using HARTs for Planning

It all starts with data entry - For any analysis of data to be useful, the information must be complete and accurate and must be recorded in a consistent manner. For these reasons, the report generation feature of the HART system has undergone a comprehensive re-engineering, resulting in a robust, flexible and effective data reporting tool. Along with monthly statistical reports, the HARTs can be utilized to create ad hoc queries that request and compile data to support strategic planning. This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to explore and develop skills in creating queries using the History of Assessment, Referral and Training System (HARTs).


Presenter Profile - Grace Scire

Grace Scire is the Manager for the Automated Reservation System implementation for the Ontario region. She has worked at The Centre for Education & Training since 1999 in various positions. In 2006 she was promoted to Manager of the ARS team. Grace Scire has played a leading role in the re-engineering, implementation and deployment of the system throughout Ontario and has worked closely with all stakeholders.

Plenary - March 28, 2008

Plenary - Intercultural Communication and Cross-Cultural Paralinguistics

When - Friday, March 28 (9:00 am - 10:30 am)

Location - Great Room B & C (3rd Floor)

Presenter- Kathryn Brillinger

This presentation will examine 5 principles of intercultural communication that can help those involved in higher-level language training programs develop understanding, skills, and techniques to thrive in a context where many cultures and many communication styles interact. This set of skills involves pre-empting difficulties, managing confusion in intercultural communication and implementing repair strategies. The workshop is based on the assumption that the continual development of intercultural knowledge and skills is crucial to a productive and successful Canada.

This presentation will also provide a fascinating look at what can go right and wrong in the cross-cultural use of non-verbal behaviours. When conversing with someone from another culture we can misinterpret or be misinterpreted on the basis of Oculesics (use of the eyes), Facial Expression, Proxemics (placement of the body in the available space). Haptics (touching behaviour), Gestures: (Five types - Deictic, Iconic, Batonic, Symbolic and Conventional), Intonation and Volume and Emotional Regulation (both negative and positive). Delegates will become more aware of these areas and familiar with some of the main cultural variations.


Presenter Profile - Kathryn Brillinger

Kathryn Brillinger has presented extensively on issues related to pronunciation, intercultural communication, and successful ESL teaching. For over 20 years, she has taught ESL including LINC Levels 1-5, TIPS (Training for Immigrant Professionals) and LMLT (Labor Market Language Training), academic and work preparation ESL as well as special classes for university professors in pronunciation and teaching interculturally. She was Assistant Chief Rater for the TSE for 11 years and is very familiar with high-level assessment issues. She has run a consulting business teaching executives at large Japanese corporations and other high tech companies.

Plenary - Compassion Fatigue

When - Friday, March 28 (11:00 am - 12:00 pm)

Location - Great Room B & C (3rd Floor)

Presenter- Jane Bradley

Compassion Fatigue is a condition common to professional care-givers that is described as a union of secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Secondary trauma occurs when one is exposed to extreme events that were directly experienced by another person. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by an overwhelming depletion of ability to cope with one's everyday environment. This workshop will examine compassion fatigue, show how to recognize the symptoms and suggest coping mechanisms to help alleviate what can be a very debilitating condition.

Presenter Profile - Jane Bradley

Jane Bradley, B.A. Psychology, has been a Professional Caregiver since 1975, and as a result, has developed a unique and resilient approach to Compassion Fatigue. With insight, humour, and firsthand knowledge, she reveals the process and experience of Compassion Fatigue. She draws on her extensive and varied background to create informative, interactive workshops, offering practical tools and strategies for recognizing and alleviating the impact of Compassion Fatigue.