On 2 October, 2019 the McGill International Institute of Education (MIIE) hosted a group of 20 primary and secondary teachers of English as a Foreign Language from the Hangzhou region of People’s Republic of China. The day was organized in cooperation with Maplesway International Education Association (Éducation de Voie d'Érable Inc) as part of a study tour to Canada.
During this visit, participants were introduced to McGill University and MIIE activities and educational services. They learnt about MIIE’s Professional Development Certificate in Global Trends in Education as well as the wide range of customized short courses offered by MIIE. A presentation on Canadian and Quebec education systems by Dr. Lisa Starr helped the visiting teachers to better understand the local context and specifications.
The main activity of the day was a lecture delivered by Dr. Mela Sarkar, Associate Professor at the Department of Integrated Studies in Education. In her talk, entitled “Unexpected English: Second, Foreign, Global, International language”, Dr. Sarkar provided a perspective on the specifications of English as a first, second, foreign, international and global language. The lecture was followed by a panel discussion with the added participation of Dr. Caroline Riches, Associate Professor and Director of Teacher Education Programs & Certificates and MA Programs at the Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill and Alison Crump, PhD, Associate Dean at Marianopolis College. This interactive and lively session allowed the teachers to share their thoughts, concerns, and experiences about teaching and student learning and to learn about both similarities and differences in teaching English as a foreign language in Montreal and in China.