Prior to 1977, heritage language schools operated in isolation. Thanks to a grant offered by the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism, heritage language schools participated in a conference attended uniquely by and for heritage language school teachers. Once teachers in schools discovered that their challenges and rewards were similar across schools regardless of the languages they taught, they decided to continue to learn from one another and the organization was born. The tradition of learning from each other continues to this day.
IHLA supports heritage language students with our annual MLD and our annual MLD Book
IHLA supports our volunteer, internationally-trained, and Canadian-trained teachers with professional development opportunities, curriculum support, the IHLA Newsletter, and career support and advice.
IHLA supports language school leaders by offering the mentorship programme, professional development and networking, advertisement, and support with developing a locally-developed curriculum,.
* IHLA Executive Board:
Francis Wambugu (Kiswahili Learning Centre); Antonella Cortese (Comitato Promotore della Lingua Italiana); Anupama Deshpande (Edmonton Marathi Shala); Kuljeet Kaur (Ramgarhia Khalsa School); Lilya Sukhy (Ivan Franko School of Ukrainian Studies)
Archana Gautam Kumar (Alberta Hindi Parishad);
Paylig Oltadjian (Armenian Culture and Educational Association of Edmonton)
* Members Emeritus: Josephine Pallard (Edmonton Filipino Language & Culture School of Edmonton) ; Jaspal Bansal: (Ramgarhia Khalsa School); Krystyna Dembowski (Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish School)
* Program Coordinator: Grace Alarcon-Isla (Filipino Language & Culture School of Edmonton)
* IT Coordinator: Marina Castro (Comitato Promotore della Lingua Italiana)
In all these years, our heritage language communities have benefitted from the care, respect and above all, dedication from our Krishna Gupta.
He has left us, unexpectedly and above all, with our hearts in our hands. His positive attitude, gentle way and determination to live his best life has been an example to all of us.
Many of us have known him as a constant participant as a heritage language leader in his Hindi School, a dedicated IHLA Board, he served as IHLA Vice President and then as IHLA President. He served as IHLA President in 2022-2023. His even tempered manner and attention to the IHLA mandate for all its members will always be remembered. His willingness to bring in new ideas to nurture and grow IHLA was welcomed and will continue.
On behalf of all of us at IHLA, we grieve the loss of a colleague and friend, and will keep his memory through our continued work forward as he had done for so many years, all of us better for having crossed his path, even if for a moment.
IHLA is studying how heritage language schools have coped during the COVID-19 criss. This qualitative research project examines how schools coped through community-closures and how some schools have managed to transition to online teaching. This project is possible through funding of Athabasca University.
IHLA is part of an international coalition of umbrella organizations in Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the USA working towards developing professional standards for heritage language schools and their members.
IHLA is participating in the Symposium on the Impact of Multiculturalism on Public Education hosted by the University of Alberta.
Find out more about this symposium at the link below: