Learn more about multilingualism and take part in our international learning week on 17 till 26 November 2020. During this full digital edition, we welcome partners from the VVOB partner countries Vietnam and South Africa who will share their expertise and inspiring practices about multilingualism in education.
What can you expect?
  • Presentations about multilingualism and education in Vietnam, South Africa and Belgium
  • Inspiring dialogues with academics and practitioners
  • Exchange among educational professionals
Read the report of this the Digital Learning Week
Our international guests are Anh Phuong Ha (Global Teacher Prize top 10 finalist 2020), Vu Thi Thanh Huong (Institute of Linguistics, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences), Nguyen Minh Nhat (UNICEF Vietnam), Ton Thi Tam (ChildFund Vietnam), Rosh Mangalparsad (Department of Education Kwazulu-Natal), Nangamso Mtsatse (Funda Wande), Shelley Aronstam (CPUT Cape Town) and Kira Boe (Oxfam Ibis Denmark). 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, Paulien Caeyers and Hanne Huysmans from VVOB in South Africa. Kira Boe from Oxfam Ibis will close the learning week with a keynote. 

We also welcome Carolien Frijns (Artevelde University of Applied Sciences), Jona Hebbrecht (Odisee), Marlies Algoet (Odisee), Justine Pillaert (Vives University of Applied Sciences), Daan Debuysere (Vives University of Applied Sciences), Karoo Beheydt (Brussels Education Centre) and Linde Gregoor (Brussels Education Centre).

↓ More details about the speakers: see below


  • From Tuesday 17 November to Thursday 26 November 2020, each session from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. (Brussels time)
  • 2 live streams and 6 Zoom sessions.
  • For teacher educators, pedagogical counsellors, (future) teachers and school leaders.
  • Language: English, no simultaneous translation.
  • Free participation, registration required
  • Recordings of the presentations of the thematic sessions will be available in advance. 
  • All sessions will be recorded and can be (re)watched afterwards. Useful to include in your (online) lessons. 


We start our digital learning week with an opening session via live stream. 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. In the thematic work sessions, we will link back to the thematic sessions. Based on an assignment, to be prepared in advance, we will reflect on the specific theme. We end this learning week with a plenary closing session
Tuesday 17 November
Wednesday 18 November
Thursday 19 November
Friday 20 November
Monday 23 November
Tuesday 24 November
Wednesday 25 November
Thursday 26 November

The guest speakers from Vietnam

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.

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. 
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.

The guest speakers from South Africa

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.

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).
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.

The guest speakers 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.

Jona Hebbrecht and Marlies Algoet are both researchers and teacher trainers in respectively the bachelor's programme Primary and Pre-primary Education of the Odisee University of applied sciences. Jona her research 'The reading scan: towards better and rather learning to read' focuses on reading policy. She is also the coordinator of the postgraduate programme Reception of minor non-native Dutch speakers and is one of the coaches of PRO Lezen, a professionalisation course on reading policy. She contributed to the manual Full of Language, Dutch Didactics for Primary School. Marlies her research focuses on stimulating preparatory technical reading. Marlies also coordinates the Postgraduate Reading Coach Odisee and writes stories with accompanying teaching materials for early childhood 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 advises 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.

Keynote speakers

Anh Phuong Ha (certified Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert) 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. On 10 November 2020, she was nomitated as a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize.

Kira Boe is Educational Policy Lead at Oxfam Ibis (Denmark). She focuses on fighting inequality in education including through fighting commercialization of education and on advocating for transformative quality education, including gender transformative education as well as for increased funding for free, quality, public education. 

Live performers

Sarah Bekambo aka Black Siba is an all-round artist from Leuven. Started as a slammer, she has now also moved on to other disciplines: rap/vocals/breakdance/hip-hop. She uses the world around her as a source of inspiration which she transforms into socially critical texts. 

Nilu Kuhpour works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. She was born in Iran where she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tehran. Following her ambition and passion, she moved to Belgium in 2008, entered the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp and got her Master's degree in Graphic Design. She follows the famous quote "Less is More". She transforms ideas into detailed, powerful and unique drawings.

Your host

Hanan Challouki is a strategic consultant and Inclusive Communication expert. After graduating in 2015 with a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication, she realized there was not much diversity in the creative industry she wanted to enter. Driven by a mission to create a more inclusive world, she became an entrepreneur and created her own vision on marketing and communication in a super diverse society. She has worked with clients such as Brussels Airport, Telenet, KRO-NCRV and BNP Paribas and got listed by Forbes’ 30under30 for her innovative strategies.