About MLAR

The Multilingual Association of Regina is a non-profit registered charity. MLAR was founded in 1978 and Regina Multilingual School activities began in 1979. MLAR is committed to the retention and promotion of heritage languages in Regina. Membership is open to any organization or individual interested in the teaching and retention of heritage languages. In the 2012-2013 school year, 30 Heritage Language schools were in operation as members of MLAR, with an enrollment of more than 1,300 students, and 3 new schools have requested access to classrooms to teach their language in the 2013-2014 school year.

Many dedicated volunteer teachers are involved in teaching classes outside of regular school time. In addition to language instruction, heritage language schools celebrate our diversity of cultural traditions. MLAR has been instrumental in helping students of its member schools celebrate their cultural heritage. The support for instruction through workshops and in-service training for language teachers has been an on-going focus of the Association.

The Multilingual Association of Regina is a non-profit registered charity. MLAR was founded in 1978 and Regina Multilingual School activities began in 1979. MLAR is committed to the retention and promotion of heritage languages in Regina. Membership is open to any organization or individual interested in the teaching and retention of heritage languages. In the 2012-2013 school year, 30 Heritage Language schools were in operation as members of MLAR, with an enrollment of more than 1,300 students, and 3 new schools have requested access to classrooms to teach their language in the 2013-2014 school year.

Many dedicated volunteer teachers are involved in teaching classes outside of regular school time. In addition to language instruction, heritage language schools celebrate our diversity of cultural traditions. MLAR has been instrumental in helping students of its member schools celebrate their cultural heritage. The support for instruction through workshops and in-service training for language teachers has been an on-going focus of the Association.

Mandate

Within the context of a multilingual, multicultural Canadian society free of prejudice, the Multilingual Association of Regina Inc. (MLAR) shall advance education in international/heritage languages (other than official languages of Canada) by providing materials and services (such as training workshops, teaching aids and course materials) to non-profit member Heritage Language Schools in Regina and surrounding areas.

Objectives

  • Support/promote diversity of culture
  • Promote the teaching and retention of International/Heritage Languages
  • Promote appreciation of literature written in International/Heritage Languages
  • Assist member organizations to establish International/Heritage Language Schools in Regina and surrounding areas and to lobby credit for students attending classes
  • Assist members in securing funding for International/Heritage Language Schools
  • Provide on-going in-service training to volunteer International/Heritage Language teachers
  • Assist in developing International/Heritage Language curriculum and resource materials for classroom use
  • Provide volunteer teachers with access to new technology and Internet for teaching students more effectively

Previous Accomplishments

Highlights of the Project Shaping the Future through International/Heritage Languages: Celebrating Cultural Diversity

The funding for this project was received from the Department of Canadian Heritage responsible for Multiculturalism. The project had three components:

  • To organize an essay writing contest in May 2002 on the Advantages of Learning a Heritage Language and publish winner entries in a book, which was distributed to libraries and schools in Saskatchewan.
  • To launch a book of selected essays along with a seminar on celebrating cultural diversity in November 2002.
  • To prepare a video with Access Communications depicting the activities of MLAR, for the purpose of creating awareness in the community about the advantages of learning a heritage language.
  • Involved in the development of Heritage Language Curriculum Guide, published by Saskatchewan Education
  • Compiled the first Heritage Language Teachers’ Handbook
  • Commissioned a resource book Heritage Language Schools in Regina Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • Completed a special project The Impact of Learning Heritage Languages in Multilingual Schools in Regina: A Study
  • Set up a Certificate Program for Heritage Language Teachers in 1992 through the University of Regina and sponsor classes for volunteer teachers
  • Completed International/Heritage Language Resource Material Bibliography, a compilation of resource materials in various ethnic languages used across Canada
  • Conducted a basic workshop on Internet to demonstrate the advantages of the Internet for teaching languages, attended by fifty teachers
  • Organized a two-day workshop in Teacher Skill Development: Use of Internet in the Classroom conducted by Campbell Collegiate computer teachers. 25 teachers attended this hands-on workshop
  • Prepared Heritage Language Teachers’ Guide: Principles and Practices. This guide includes tips for heritage language teachers on many topics. Copies of this guide are being distributed to all heritage language teachers. It is also loaded on the Internet for the use of teachers everywhere
  • Supported language-specific training workshops for its member schools in Regina
  • Hosts the Heritage Language Award Night annually
  • Organized a daylong workshop in Teaching Multilevel Classes. This workshop equipped the volunteer teachers with skills to prepare lessons and/or activities appropriate for the multilevel class
  • Prepared a brochure listing the usefulness of learning languages to motivate parents and children
  • Organized a forum on Multiculturalism in a Networked World with the help of Canadian Heritage to assist heritage language teachers, parents and students to discover the advantages of learning languages, culture and diversity
  • Arranged with Chris Irwin, a horse trainer, the project Pathways to Reconciliation to improve classroom management skills among heritage language teachers. The message is that horses have a great deal to teach us about how to communicate with empathy and patience not only with animals, but with each other
  • Upgraded the technological skills of heritage language teachers by hosting four Internet training workshops until May 2001, dealing with word processing, loading and unloading documents, e-mail, Internet searching etc.
  • MLAR Board Member representative sat on the Reference Committee of Saskatchewan Education to provide feedback on the Common Curriculum Framework for International Languages, which is the foundation for the development of language-specific curricula for many International Language program and courses. (To assist Heritage Language Schools with regards to curriculum problems—Saskatchewan Education, Alberta Education and Manitoba Education collaborated to develop Common Curriculum Framework for International Languages for many International Language program and courses)
  • Hosted Celebration of Cultural Diversity for 2000 in December 1999 to foster social cohesion, mutual respect and a shared sense of Canadian identity. Several multicultural groups participated
  • Conduced three workshops on curriculum development: orientation to the Common Curriculum Framework for International /Heritage Languages and hands-on experience in developing unit plans written in the heritage language being taught by the particular heritage language school
  • Hosted an Open House and forum, December 1, 2001, Shaping the Future Through International Languages. Fourteen Heritage Language Schools participated with cultural programs. Teachers, parents and the general public attended the day

(2002-2003) MLAR Board took the responsibility, with funding assistance from Canadian Heritage, for a special project Shaping the Future through Heritage/International Languages. The project had three components, which were completed by March 31, 2003.

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