The SLP Story
A significant initiative was taken in the fall of 2011 by a group of professors from the School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Guelph, when they decided to organize an international conference on the topic of « Second-language Pedagogies, New Technologies, and Learning Outcomes ». The initiative, proposed by Dr. Clive Thomson, was taken for some very specific reasons. The Call for Papers for the conference explained one of them: « With innovative theories, methodologies, and technologies being developed in many contexts, second-language pedagogy is an exciting area of research in universities at the present time. »
An equally important reason was that several colleagues in the School of Languages and Literatures had been deeply involved in studying and implementing new second-language pedagogies for many years. In particular, three colleagues had a well-established reputation in this area of teaching and research:
It was also well known that a serious interest in this field was shared by colleagues in neighbouring universities in the southern Ontario region.
SLPC1 and SLPC2
Approximately forty papers were presented at the inaugural conference (February 11 and 12, 2012) on a wide variety of subjects that included: interaction-centred theories and practices, new technologies for distance learning, evaluation measures for learning outcomes, curriculum design and mapping, and inductive teaching. Institutional support was provided by the College of Arts and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at the University of Guelph. The assistance of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Sao Paolo was essential in making the conference a success. Ten faculty members and graduate students from Sao Paolo participated in the conference. The other presenters came from universities in Canada and the United States. Because the conference was such a success, there was unanimous agreement that it should become an annual event, referred to as the International Second Language Pedagogies Conference (SLPC).
SLPC2 took place in February 2013 at the University of Guelph, again with some forty presentations, given by colleagues from Brazil, United Kingdom, South Africa, United States, and Canada. In addition to the topics discussed at the 2012 conference, some new ones received attention in the second conference, such as alternative evaluation practices and interculturalism in foreign language teaching.
SLPC3 was hosted in 2014 by the Department of Language Studies at University of Toronto-Mississauga, with approximately 65 presentations and workshops. As a testament to the growth of SLPC, presenters hailed from 5 continents: North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
In 2015, SLPC4 was hosted by the Department of Languages and Literatures at Wilfrid Laurier University. Some 50 papers and workshops were presented by educators from multiple Canadian, Brazilian and American universities, as well as from Morocco, Oman, France and Cuba.
In 2016, SLPC5 was celebrated on May 12 & 13, 2016 at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Some 200 papers and workshops were presented by educators from across the world.