Due to the coronavirus our learning week in March 2020 was cancelled. Therefore, we organise a fully digital learning week in November. The theme - multilingualism - and our international guests from South Africa and Vietnam remain the same. Write down the following dates in your calender. More information will follow soon on this page. 

Our international guests are Nguyen Minh Nhat (Unicef Vietnam), Vu Thi Thanh HuongTon Thi Tam (National Geographic Explorer 2017), Truong Thi Kim Oanh, Anh Phuong Ha (Global Teacher Prize top 50 finalist 2020), Nangamso Mtsatse (Funda Wande), Rosh Mangalparsad (Department of Education Kwazulu-Natal), Shelley Aronstam (CPUT Cape Town), Leketi Makalela (University of the Witwatersrand) and Mamiki Maboya (Department of Basic Education South Africa). The Vietnamese guests are supported by Le Van Phuc and Lieve Leroy, both VVOB in Vietnam. The guests from South Africa are supported by Puseletso HoaeaneFathima Osman and Hanne Huysmans from VVOB in South Africa.

We also welcome Carolien Frijns (Artevelde University of Applied Sciences), Justine Pillaert (Vives University of Applied Sciences), Daan Debuysere (Vives University of Applied Sciences), Karoo Beheydt (Brussels Education Centre), Linde Gregoor (Brussels Education Centre) and Amélie Rogiers (Ghent University and Vives University of Applied Sciences).

More details about the speakers: see below 


Week 1 (each session from 9:00 to 11:00 am)

We start our digital learning week with a plenary session. In the following days, you can join different thematic session with focus on reading for meaning, material development and teacher professional development. In each session, you learn about multilingualism in education in Vietnam, South Africa and Belgium. 
Tuesday 17 November
Wednesday 18 November
Thursday 19 November
Friday 20 November
Week 2 (each session from 9:30 to 11:00 am)

In the thematic work sessions, we will link back to the sessions from the first week. On the basis of an assignment, to be prepared in advance, we will reflect on the specific theme. We end this learning week with a plenary closing session. 

Monday 23 November - thematic work session reading by meaning (via zoom)

Dinsdag 24 november - thematic work session material development (via zoom)

Woensdag 25 november - thematic work session teacher professional development (via zoom)

Thursday 26 November - plenary closing session (livestream)
We end this learning week with a plenary closing session in which we look back on what was learned and what we take with us to our own practices. (programme under construction)

The guest speakers 

From Vietnam

Nguyen Minh Nhat, education officer at UNICEF Vietnam, has over 27 years of experience in the field of development, of which more than 10 years in Early Childhood Development (ECD) in different international organisations including UNICEF, FAO, Plan International and Save the Children US. He has supported the Ministry of Education and Training in improving the quality of the ECD system as well as inclusive education, focusing on the most vulnerable children including children with disabilities, ethnic minority children, children affected by disaster and climate change. One of the significant achievements was the implementation of mother-tongue based bilingual education and early learning and development standards. 

Vu Thi Thanh Huong has a master’s degree in Sociolinguistics (University of Rouen) and a doctoral degree in Linguistic Anthropology (University of Toronto). She has been working as head of the Applied Linguistics Department, and as an associate professor, senior researcher and lecturer at Vietnam Linguistics Institute. Her research is focused on linguistic politeness, language and social stratification, language variation and change, conversation analysis and intercultural communication, language in education policies and practices. She is particularly interested in the schooling of ethnic minority children in early primary grades in Vietnam.
Ton Thi Tam
 was granted by National Geographic Explorer in 2017 for developing bilingual teaching materials in Bahnar-Vietnamese.  She holds a master in Methodology of Teaching Vietnamese Language (National University of Education, Vietnam) and in Education (Queensland University of Technology, Australia). She has been working for ChildFund Vietnam as an education specialist since March 2018. Previously, Ton worked for 10 years as an expert of ethnic minority education in the Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam. She was also a researcher at the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences. During her career, Ton has been involved in many projects supporting ethnic minority children in disadvantaged areas. Her interest is in training and coaching teachers on teaching methodologies and the development of training modules and learning material.
Truong Thi Kim Oanh received a doctoral degree in Teaching Vietnamese Language as a second language to ethnic minority preschool children through play. Currently she has been working as an independent consultant. Previously, Truong worked for 35 years as an expert of ethnic minority preschool education in the Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam. She was also a researcher at the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences. During her career, Truong has been involved in many projects supporting ethnic minority children in disadvantaged areas. Her interest is in training and coaching teachers on teaching methodologies and the development of training modules and learning material.

Anh Phuong Ha was born in a remote area in the north of Vietnam where farming is the main occupation and poverty rates are high. She first became aware of teachers’ potential to make a difference through a Vietnamese film she saw in her youth, in which the teacher character visits homes located along dangerous mountain paths to persuade parents to allow their children to go to school rather than stay at home and work in the mountains. After getting her master’s degree in English, Anh Phuong Ha recognised that becoming a teacher of English was the best way to improve people’s lives, and decided to return to her home region to make it happen. Today, she is an English teacher in the Huong Can High School, Phu Tho province, Vietnam and was nomitated in the top 50 of the Global Teacher Prize in 2020.

From South Africa

In January 2019, Nangamso Mtsatse was selected to be on the Top 30 Under 30 Global Literacy Leaders by the International Literacy Association. Her research envisages improving the teaching and learning of African languages in the foundation phase as well as developing valid and reliable assessment tools in African languages. She is currently Head of Relationship at Funda Wande. She is also a PhD candidate in Education Policy and a member of ReSEP at Stellenbosch University. She worked at the University of South Africa as a lecturer and taught language planning and testing courses. Between 2014 and 2016, Nangamso was a researcher at the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment, where she was involved in planning and executing the Progress in Reading Literacy Study 2016 (PIRLS).
Rosh Mangalparsad is a Provincial English Coordinator in the General Education and Training phase of the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She facilitates the management and implementation of the curriculum in this province. She enjoys coordinating programmes that focus on promoting teacher professional development and improving learner achievement. After a twenty-four-year stint as a teacher of English and Afrikaans in a secondary school, she practised as a Subject Advisor for eight years. Currently, she is a PhD student pursuing her passion for teacher professional development in inclusive teaching strategies.
Shelley Aronstam began her career as a primary school teacher and has taught in South Africa and the USA. For the last 20 years, she has worked in the field of teacher training whereby her focus is on language and literacy pedagogy. Shelley has published articles in the field of literacy development and has presented papers at national and international conferences. She is actively involved in LITASA, Literacy Association of South Africa. Her research interests include challenges faced by novice teachers when teaching reading as well as the teaching of reading in diverse, multilingual classroom contexts.

Leketi Makalela (tbc) is professor and Head of the Division of Languages, Literacies and Literatures at Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand. He is fascinated by the interface between languages and literacies in the 21st century and intrigued by the prospects of alternating languages, of input and output to enhance identity construction and epistemic access for multilingual students. Believing that multilingualism is a norm for the new world order, he has developed a multilingual literacies model, premised on the African value system of multi-directional interdependence, Ubuntu, to define complex multilingual encounters. Professsor Makalela chairs a research programme, the Wits Abafunde-ba-hlalefe Multilingual Literacies Programme (WAMLiP).
Mamiki Maboya is the Deputy Director General in the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in South Africa.  Her key responsibilities include the provision of strategic leadership in the development, support and monitoring of curriculum policy (birth to 12th grade). She is championing the department’s transformation agenda through the introduction of multilingual education amongst others. She holds a master’s degree (University of Leeds, United Kingdom) and a doctoral degree (University of the Free State, South Africa) in curriculum studies mathematics.

From Belgium

Carolien Frijns is a teacher educator, postdoctoral researcher and research coordinator at Artevelde University of Applied Sciences. She started her career as a researcher at the Centre for Language and Education (KU Leuven) and was a finalist of the Flanders PhD Cup 2017. In 2019, her project was distinguished with the Science Communication Award (KVAB). Her interests lie mainly in the fields of sociolinguistics, multilingualism, second language acquisition and task-based language teaching. She recently published ‘De vliegtuigklas’, a unique guide on language and education for (future) teachers, teacher educators, school advisors and anyone interested in equity in education.
Justine Pillaert and Daan Debuysere are both lecturers at VIVES University of Applied Sciences, Bachelor early childhood education and Bachelor primary education. Together they developed a coaching trajectory for teachers, especially teachers working with newly arrived children. In the coaching sessions, they support teachers to work with language-rich activities and they provide tips on how to make activities as language rich as possible.
Karoo Beheydt and Linde Gregoor both work at the Brussels Education Centre (OCB) which supports and advices schools on pedagogical challenges. The Brussels Education Centre developed a tool to map teacher's beliefs and how they approach multilingualism in their classes. This tool makes it possible to develop a vision and approach in line with the multilingual reality, which is supported by the whole team.