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Keynote talk by
Anthony  Thorpe

Keynote talk by
Lia Tedesco

Panel discussion

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2021 Conference

Our online conference took place on November 19 and 20, 2021, and with the theme: 

Future-proofing Heritage Language Education.

Topics included online learning, succession planning, and other ideas for HL program sustainability. Let's gain a fresh perspective on the future of HL education in Europe!


Attendance of the conference was free of charge.


FOHLC Europe 2021 was organized by Móðurmál – the Association on Bilingualism, Heritage Language Education Network, Multilingual Café, and Agnieszka Pędrak, an independent researcher at Trinity College in Dublin. Meet our team. Email our team.

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Conference Program

Friday, November 19, 2021

  • Introduction of FOHLC Europe

  • Two keynote speakers addressing the conference theme

Saturday, November 20, 2021

  • Professional development workshops for heritage language teachers and program managers 

  • Networking opportunities for leaders of heritage language teachers, program managers, and leaders of coalitions 

  • Panel discussion addressing the theme of the conference


Friday, November 19 (times in GMT/London)

19:00 – 19:05 Welcome

19:05 – 19:15 Introduction of FOHLC Europe

19:15 – 19:55 Keynote 1: Sustainability and succession planning in HL schools - Anthony Thorpe

19:55 – 20:05 Break

20:05 – 20:45 Keynote 2: School of Languages in Australia - Lia Tedesco

20:45 – 20:55 Closing

Saturday, November 20 (times in GMT/London)

18:00 – 18:05 Welcome

18:05 – 18:10 Workshop intro

18:10 – 19:10 Workshop for Teachers (parallel session)

Project-based learning in HL classrooms - Trudie Aberdeen

18:10 – 19:10 Workshop for Managers (parallel session)

International Guidelines for Professional Practices in Community-Based Heritage Language Schools - Marta McCabe, Joy Kreeft Peyton

19:10 – 19:25 Workshop summary

19:25 – 19:35 Break

19:35 – 19:45 Networking intro

19:45 – 20:10 Networking for Teachers (parallel session)

19:45 – 20:10 Networking for Managers (parallel session)

19:45 – 20:10 Networking for Coalition leaders(parallel session)

20:10 – 20:25 Networking summary

20:25 – 20:35 Break

20:35 – 21:05 Panel discussion with Ruby Mahera, Martin Guardado, Rory McDaid

Topic of discussion: What can help future-proof HL education from the perspective of technology, collaboration with mainstream schools, and language policy?

21:05 – 21:10 Closing

Keynote speakers

Friday, November 19, 2021

Dr. Anthony Thorpe:
Sustainability and succession planning in HL schools

Senior Lecturer - Leadership and Management,

University of Roehampton, London, UK

Dr Anthony Thorpe is a senior lecturer (leadership and management) in the School of Education at the University of Roehampton in London, UK. He previously worked in schools and further education colleges. His research interests include educational leadership and management, organizational theory, human resource management, leadership development and their links to social justice. His work also explores the use of critical realism in educational leadership and management.


Anthony co-edited a special issue of the journal of Management in Education published in autumn 2020. The issue explored different aspects of leadership and management in heritage language schools (also known as complementary or supplementary schools in the UK), which have been received little attention to date in academic journals.


In 2019, he was a keynote presenter at the Supplementary Schools Conference for Practitioners organized by the City of Bradford Council, UK, with a presentation entitled "Leading complementary schools: trials, tribulations and rewards." He is lead author of an article about leadership succession as an aspect of organizational sustainability in complementary schools in England in the Australian journal of Leading & Managing.

Lia Tedesco:
School of Languages in Australia

Principal of the School of Languages in South Australia

Lia Tedesco began her professional career as a teacher of Italian at secondary level, and has been Principal of the School of Languages (S.A.) since 2000.


The School of Languages is a unique government school, which provides access, choice and continuity in language learning to students from all three sectors of education. The school currently teaches 24 languages to over 2100 students.


Lia has a long history of involvement and leadership in curriculum development, professional development and policy development, at both state and national levels across Australia; including writing the:

·       National Curriculum for Italian at secondary level (1989)

·       National Statement and Profile for Languages (1992)

·       State Languages Policy (1995)

·       National Review of Languages Education (2003)

·       National Statement and Plan for Languages Education 2005 – 2009

·       South Australian Education Department Languages Strategy 2018 – 2021.


She has also served as Executive Officer of the National Ministerial Council of Education Working Party for Languages; and as President of the Australian Federation of Modern Languages Teachers’ Associations (AFMLTA); through which she led and contributed to significant national projects.  


She has received 2 major national awards:

·       The Australian Federation of Modern Languages Teachers’ Associations medal for outstanding contributions at national level to Languages Education

·       The Australian College of Educational Leadership (ACEL) 2018 award for outstanding educational leadership.


Recently she was also a finalist in the South Australian 2021 Governor’s Multicultural Awards.

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Workshop leaders

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Workshop for Teachers

Project-Based Learning in Heritage Language Classrooms

Are you looking for ways to improve your heritage language students' motivation, literacy, vocabulary and academic knowledge in 90 minutes each week? If so, then this project-based learning workshop might be for you. Over this workshop, Dr. Trudie Aberdeen will demonstrate with real-life work from students how language learners can improve in each of these areas by working on projects that use science as a starting point. Participants will receive real and concrete examples of lessons, sample lesson plans, evaluation forms, and planning sheets specifically designed with heritage language teachers in mind. 

Dr, Trudie Aberdeen is an academic, a teacher trainer, an immersion teacher, and a heritage language teacher. Her experience spans the globe. Her passions are multilingualism and multiculturalism, teacher training, and meaningful professional development. She speaks 5 languages and is a strong advocate for heritage language schools and their professionalism.

Workshop for Managers

International Guidelines for Professional Practices in Community-Based Heritage Language Schools

This workshop will introduce a new initiative which is a product of ongoing discussions and collaboration among a number of national heritage language associations and organizations from both Europe and North America. The workshop will invite feedback from participants as they consider how the guidelines can be implemented in their schools.

Marta McCabe, Ph.D., is Founder and Director of the Czech and Slovak School of North Carolina and a core member at the Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools. She also serves as an EFL Instructor at Durham Technical Community College and as a Research Scientist at the School of Education at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Her research examines the intersection of education, language, and migration, while focusing specifically on the linguistic, social, and cultural adaptation of second-generation immigrants from Eastern Europe. She has published on the topic of heritage language education in the International Journal of the Sociology of Language and in a Handbook on Heritage Language Education.

Joy Kreeft Peyton, PhD, is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and President of the Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools. has over 35 years of experience working in the field of languages, linguistics, and culture in education. She was a founding member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages, hosted at CAL. She is co-editor of Heritage Languages in America: Preserving a National Resource and Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Educational Practice, and Policy. Her work includes working with teachers and program leaders in K-12 and adult education settings to improve their instructional practice and study the implementation and outcomes of research-based practice, including implementing and studying approaches to writing that facilitate engagement and learning and promote academic and professional success. She is a Senior Advisor for the EU-SPEAK project (Newcastle University), whose mission is to enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers of adult immigrants who have limited education and literacy in their native language (LESLLA adults).


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Dr. Martin Guardado

Technology in HL education

Martin Guardado is a professor of applied and sociocultural linguistics in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Alberta, Canada. He obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia specializing in language education with a focus on heritage languages. His published research spans several topical themes, including the use of digital technologies in second and heritage language learning. Recent books include Discourse, ideology and heritage language socialization: Micro and macro perspectives (2018), The many faces of multilingualism: Language status, learning and use across contexts (2020, De Gruyter Mouton), and Curriculum development in English for academic purposes: A guide to practice (2020, Palgrave MacMillan).

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Dr. Mahera Ruby

Collaboration between HL programs and mainstream schools

Dr. Mahera Ruby is an academic and a certified personal growth and family coach. She has held teaching and research positions at UCL IoE, Goldsmiths, University of London and University of West London. As a senior researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, she has conducted research using an ethnographic approach in the homes, communities, and classrooms of both monolingual and bilingual children in East London. In addition to working on the Paul Hamlyn Foundation project on "Developing bilingual pedagogies through partnership between supplementaryand mainstream schools." She has worked on two ESRC projects, Intergenerational learning between children and grandparents and Developing bilingual learning in mainstream and community contexts. Dr. Mahera also co-directed the ESRC-funded research project on "Becoming literate through faith: language and literacy learning in the lives of new Londoners." Mahera co-authored her first book with Dr Charmian Kenner, Interconnecting Worlds: Teacher partnerships for bilingual learning, which has received many positive reviews. She has authored her latest book Family Jigsaws: Grandmothers as the missing piece shaping bilingual children's learner identities. Both books have been published by the IoE Press. Dr. Mahera completed her PhD in 2015 at Goldsmiths in the Department of Education. Her research focused on intergenerational learning taking place in three generations of families whose origins are from Bangladesh.


Mahera founded Blooming Parenting in 2012 with a vision to reshape and strengthen families and communities. Through facilitating bespoke parenting courses, Mahera supports parents to nurture their children and youth to blossom into the gifts that they truly are. The youth courses challenge the young people to explore and reflect on who they are, who they want to be and the legacies they want to leave behind.

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Dr. Rory McDaid

HL and language policy

Dr Rory Mc Daid is the Director of Research in Marino Institute of Education, where he is also Lecturer in Sociology of Education. Since 2017, he has coordinated the Migrant Teacher Project which provides information, advice and training to migrant teachers, to help them to continue their profession in Ireland. Dr Mc Daid’s research contributions include work with refugee and asylum seeking children and young people in Ireland, racism and linguicism in schools and teacher diversity. See this panelists's website.

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FOHLC Europe Conference (2021): Clients
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