Maria Popica, a French teacher at John Abbott College, has received the prestigious HH Stern Award


We are pleased to announce that Maria Popica, a French teacher at John Abbott College, has received the prestigious HH Stern Award at the Annual General Meeting of CASLT held in Ottawa on September 27.

This award was presented to Mrs. Popica to recognize the innovative aspect of thecourse French as a Second Language Learning through Community Engagement in French-Speaking Communities: A Cross-Cultural Transformative Approach (course created with the financial support of the Canada-Quebec agreement program).

This course, given alternately in the classroom and in a Francophone community, helps to create meaningful links between language learning, community service and the holistic development of the student. By doing community service, students improve their language and cultural skills, strengthen their thinking skills, develop empathy and the habit of engaging with their multilingual community.

“Maria has contributed greatly to John Abbott College and the broader cégep network in helping us better understand students’ motivation to learn French and the potential for increasing that motivation through the social interaction provided by community service-based course work. The importance of social interaction was one of the key results from extensive research of French second-language students she had conducted in collaboration with a number of English colleges. Maria’s insights are currently being shared with our Board of Governors, which shows the great value that John Abbott places on her work and the place of French in our students’ education” said Gordon Brown, Academic Dean.

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