In Other Words - May 2018

OLBI and the ECSPM are officially partners!

The OLBI is proud to announce our new partnership with the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism (ECSPM)! Both organizations seek to promote multilingualism, improve language teaching, and research language policy. We look forward to continuing our work with our colleagues at the ECSPM to make progress on these important issues.

University of Ottawa


New language learning software: a project in collaboration with Beverly Baker

Beverly Baker, Director of Language Assessment, saw her efforts highlighted by McGill University recently for her work in a Health Canada-funded project to develop an English language learning and formative assessment tool for Quebec nurses. Her team included Maria Lourdes Lira Gonzales (UQAT), Carolyn Turner (McGill) and Michel Laurier (uOttawa). This free online tool, which has received thousands of visits since its launch last summer, allows nurses to listen to and practice language related to authentic nursing scenarios. It was developed in close collaboration with nurses themselves and has received very positive reviews.

Read more on the subject of Beverly’s work and the development of this initiative at the following link:

Overview of the 2018 CCERBAL Conference

Overview of the 2018 CCERBAL Conference

The 2018 Conference of the Canadian Centre for Studies and Research on Bilingualism and Language Planning, which took place on May 3rd and 4th, was a great success! We would like to thank our plenary speakers, presenters and the audience for participating in this event. This year’s conference was the biggest in OLBI’s history with over 200 participants from 5 continents. Issues related to translanguaging, plurilingualism, linguistic risk-taking and beyond were discussed and debated from various angles and in multiple contexts. Through the richness of the event’s plenaries, round tables, symposia, workshops, individual presentations and posters, we hope to have left a meaningful and lasting impact on the scholarly community as well as  practitioners and policy makers.

If you did not have a chance to attend the Conference, fret not! The plenary sessions, invited round tables, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies were recorded live and are available through open access on our Facebook page. Take a moment to look at our photo gallery as well.

Many thanks to everyone who devoted their time and worked hard to make the Conference a success, including staff organizers, student volunteers and professors. A special thank you goes to the members of the scientific committee. The event was truly memorable for CCERBAL and OLBI. We look forward to seeing you in 2020 for the next CCERBAL Conference!

A student passionate about French: Irene's story

Irene Knicely-Coutts

Currently a fourth-year student in French as a Second Language (FLS) with a minor in Geography, Irene Knicely-Coutts has devoted herself to the learning, promotion and teaching of French from a young age. Irene has held many volunteer positions which include working as a student assistant in a new hybrid course offered by OLBI, an FLS tutor at the Bilingualism  Centre, and a teacher’s aide in a fourth grade French Immersion class at Barrhaven Public School. Irene has been recognized for her enthusiasm to share the French language with others.

“In addition, learning by immersion through volunteer experiences in a true French-speaking environment is completely different from learning through grammar exercises stripped of context in a classroom.  Without interaction with the Francophone community, it’s impossible to acquire culturally-based knowledge, such as joual (a form of French slang), know-how and social skills. As well, without contact with people, it’s very hard to perfect your accent and learn to speak a second or foreign language fluently.” (Irene, 2018)

Read more about Irene’s story at the following link:

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