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Languages Canada pushes global competence

Sharon Curl Languages Canada and Bert Vercamer SentioLanguages Canada's president Sharon Curl (left) and Bert Vercamer, Sentio's general manager, signed the agreement at Languages Canada's conference in Quebec. Photo: Elaina Loveland for The PIE News.

"We sincerely believe this partnership will benefit all levels of second language education in the country"

The Global Competence Certificate, a blended educational programme that incorporates videos and opportunities for global peer interaction, will be available as a complementary tool to traditional language courses.

“Intercultural learning and language learning are two sides of the same coin”

It provides intercultural learning and cross-cultural adjustment training to increasingly diverse and internationally mobile students before, during and after their international experience.

“Intercultural learning and language learning are two sides of the same coin,” said Bert Vercamer, general manager of Sentio, a subsidiary of AFS Intercultural Programs, an international nonprofit organisation that provides intercultural learning opportunities.

“Language learning is aided by intercultural learning and intercultural learning is aided by language learning, so the better you understand the culture you are in, the better your language acquisition is.”

Announcing the agreement at Languages Canada’s 10th annual conference in Quebec City this week, the association’s president, Sharon Curl, told members: “Languages Canada is now looking to broader connections and looking at the connections between language, learning, and cross-cultural skills.”

Languages Canada is the first organisation to partner with Sentio to offer the Global Competence Certificate to its members.

“The partnership with Sentio to us is important because it is expanding language into the area of cultural competence, which is absolutely essential for internationalisation and integration,” added Gonzalo Peralta, executive director of the association, whose members serve more than 100,000 international English and French language students annually.

“We sincerely believe this partnership will benefit all levels of second language education in the country—students will benefit from training that will allow them to better understand and integrate themselves into their environment, and schools will receive additional training,” said Peralta.

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