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December 1, 2013

Conferences

TESL Ontario
Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI), CCLB had a high-level presence at the TESL Ontario conference conducting many different workshops throughout the three-day conference (October 24-26, 2013). Workshops included:
- Assessment for speaking and writing
- Exit Tasks
- SAM
- Portfolio-based language assessment
- Workshops on the revised CLB and CLB Support Kit.

CCLB also had the opportunity to hear from ESL teachers during focus groups about their needs and ideas regarding the revision of the CLB Literacy Benchmarks.

CCLB would like to thank all the ESL teachers, administrators, managers and government funders for participating in the workshops or visiting the booth at the conference and speaking with the team. We would also like to thank the CCLB team of instructors for facilitating engaging workshops and providing professional development to ESL teachers. This annual conference offers a tremendous opportunity for professional development, networking and sharing of knowledge between MCI-funded ESL teachers and CCLB. The Centre would also like to acknowledge the hard work of Martina Dionne, Marie Gauthier, and other Project Managers at the Centre with preparations before, during and after the conference. Well done!


VISION 20/20 National Settlement Conference
“Shaping the Future of the Settlement Program in Canada”
In November 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada invited 400 service providers, policy makers, employers and stakeholders with expertise and knowledge to present their perspectives on the future directions for the Settlement Program at a three-day conference in Ottawa. Another 1,000 people were encouraged to participate through web conferencing.

Anne Senior represented CCLB while other staff members participated through the webcast. Anne is CCLB’s representative on the Newcomer Language Advisory Body (NLAB) which provided input prior to the conference.

The changes to immigration and citizenship were hot topics. Pre-departure preparation that will enable an immigrant to become a productive member of Canadian society quickly is definitely a priority. “Seamless integration” was an often-used phrase. The expectation is that primary applicants will arrive with higher levels of language and may have different language training requirements from those currently seen. The requirements of family members for settlement were also discussed as these may differ from those of the primary applicant.

The need for stakeholders to find alternative and innovative funding mechanisms was clearly addressed as was the need for accountable and results-based projects.

Post-conference submissions were sent to the organizers. Anne Senior participated in the NLAB post-conference review which resulted in additional input to the conference on areas of language that must be considered in future policy decisions.


Fall Institute 2013: The Centre for Literacy
Interpreting PIAAC Results: Understanding Competencies of the Future
CCLB took part in the Fall Institute in Montreal in October. This was an exciting conference as the results of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey had just been announced by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The implications for future policy were discussed at the conference and as CCLB moves forward with the revision of the literacy benchmarks and with its workplace initiatives these discussions were very timely and informative.

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