Transversal competences have recently come to the forefront in education and in society more generally. Their definition can be elusive, and they are variably known as soft skills, 21st century skills, core competencies, transferable skills, etc. (cf. Council of Europe ECML, 2021). Some examples of transversal competences proposed by UNESCO (2015) include global citizenship, inter- and intra-personal skills, critical and innovative thinking, as well as physical and psychological health. Transversal competences are inextricably related to language teaching and learning; they also apply to family and societal bi/multilingualism in a globalized world and thus have overarching social significance.

Mobility is another defining characteristic of 21st century society. Global flows and exchanges of ideas, internationalized education, personal travel, transnational families, economic migration, as well as fleeing wars and persecution are types of mobility that raise new and important questions. In addition, digital technology has offered yet another type of mobility in parallel to physical mobility. Such new developments require renewed impetus for innovative pedagogies and policies, in many of the following contexts: language teaching and learning; bi/multilingual use in academic, cultural, business, and daily life exchanges; supporting global diversity and inclusion; empowering plurilingual migrant populations in school classrooms to become confident and competent users of a host country’s language while also creating the necessary conditions for preserving their original languages and identities; and many others.

Human well-being is tightly connected to the above themes. Recent work on language teacher well-being has raised questions about how to ensure teachers are well-supported, validated, retained in the profession, encouraged to innovate, and engage learners; learner well-being is a key issue in a context of multilingual and multicultural classrooms with various unique learner needs and objectives. Supporting the development of bilingual and multilingual children at the family level and building bridges to schooling and other formal educational contexts also form part of what is known as harmonious bi/multilingualism (De Houwer, 2020) and general well-being. Finally, an overall focus on general well-being for all stakeholders has become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and the eagerly anticipated post-pandemic recovery.

Sunny Man Chu Lau

Sunny Man Chu Lau

Bishop’s University

Transversal competence for ecologies of knowledges and intercultural translation.

Peter MacIntyre

Peter MacIntyre

Cape Breton University

Positive Psychology in SLA: Problems, Progress, and Prospects.

Caroline Payant

Caroline Payant

Université du Québec à Montréal

The plurilingual and critical turn in educational contexts to tackle language discrimination.

Meike Wernicke

Meike Wernicke

University of British Columbia

Crossing virtual borders as an intercultural encounter.

More information

For more information, please contact us at the following address: [email protected].

Date and time
May 4, 2023 to May 6, 2023
All day
Format and location
Ottawa and online
Organized by
Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute

Non-exhaustive list of topics

  • Language teaching, learning, and assessment
  • Language, technology, gamification, digital citizenship, virtual mobility, artificial intelligence
  • Language policy and family language policy
  • Languages of schooling, immersion studies, bi-/multilingual education, language intensive programs
  • Links between home languages and school languages
  • Flexible, experiential, community-based, and informal language learning
  • Indigenized curriculum development and delivery
  • Value-based curricula, democracy, and peace building
  • Inclusion, social justice, and equity
  • Language, mobility, and migration
  • Linguistic security/insecurity
  • Linguistic risk-taking
  • Mediation, language development across the lifespan
  • Nurturing the next generation of researchers and teachers
  • Academic literacies, multiliteracies, and multimodality
  • Third spaces and dialogue between spaces
  • Plurilingualism, multilingualism, translanguaging
  • Official languages, Heritage languages, Modern languages, Indigenous languages, Sign languages, Minority languages, ‘Big’ languages vs. ‘Small’ languages, Languages other than English (LOTE)
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks
  • CEFR and its companion volume
  • Psychology of language learning, emotions, positive psychology

More information

Conference chairs

  • Nikolay Slavkov (University of Ottawa)
  • Pierre-Luc Paquet (University of Texas at Tyler)
  • Nina Woll (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières)

Format of submissions 

oral presentations, posters, round tables, thematic symposia, and workshops. Options to participate both in person and online will be available.

Important dates

Submissions open: July 1, 2022

Submissions close: November 1, 2022

Acceptance notifications and registration: early 2023

Conference dates: May 4-6, 2023


Canadian Centre for Studies and Research on Bilingualism and Language Planning (
CCERBAL), Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), University of Ottawa.

Featured events

Plenary sessions, round tables and thematic symposia, professional development workshops; social activities (in person and online), and much more.

Contact us


70 Laurier Avenue East
Room 130
Ottawa, ON  K1N 6N5

Telephone: 613-562-5743
Fax: 613-562-5126
[email protected]