The Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s International Languages – Elementary Program, hosted by St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education, has made a solemn commitment to the Professional Development of over 100 language instructors. By dedicating one day each year, all language instructors will assemble to learn and share best practices.


This Saturday morning, November 17th, will mark the 14th consecutive year that all language school teachers come together to share the common elements of effective language learning. By devoting this time for professional development, there will be NO language classes offered to students this Saturday, at any of the five locations. (Note: Monday and Wednesday evening classes are still scheduled for next week.)


Each week, WCDSB International Language (IL) teachers provide two and a half hours of language instruction to over 2000 learners across the Region. International Language instructors bring a wealth of teaching experience, credentials and dedication to the cultural and language experience that children (JK to Grade 8) have enjoyed for generations.  For a program of this magnitude to thrive, parents, students and language instructors, alike, need to share the importance of consistent classroom management, research-based teaching, meaningful engagement with students and relevance of learning multiple languages (even outside of a student’s mother tongue).


For over 38 years, St. Louis has been the hub for over 19 language school collectives. Some well-established schools, such as the 124-year Polish and 42-year Portuguese schools became part of the core language schools, yet even recently introduced Chin, Rohingya or the 1 ½ year old Arabic language schools are new reflections of our diverse community. The intention behind the umbrella name “International Languages Program” is to focus on the togetherness versus the separateness of culture and language learning.


This year’s IL professional development workshop motto emphasizes this togetherness when modelling effective teaching strategies.



In the International Languages- Elementary Program, ALL language schools come first. It is important for our team to see the universal values the IL Program carries to all our students:

  • inclusion
  • equity
  • accountability

We would be disloyal to these values if we saw each of the language schools as ‘first among others’.  We can not work better, if we don’t work together.


If you are a parent or student of the International Languages Elementary program, take this Saturday to reflect on what you have learned so far and share with your teacher via email, on social media or in person next week. By doing so, you are validating their efforts.


If you know someone who would be interested in having their child learn language, please share:

Learn a Language Share a Culture