Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.15

May 5, 2005


UQAM's loss is our gain


The 26th annual conference of the Association québécoise des enseignants de français langue seconde (AQEFLS) was held in the Henry F. Hall Building on April 28 and 29, instead of the Université du Québec à Montréal, where it was originally scheduled.

About 500 delegates attended this year’s conference, including teachers from the English and French school sectors, program administrators and academic counsellors.

Assistant Professor Paula Bouffard, of the Département d'études françaises, is on the executive of the AQEFLS, and was an organizer.

“When I saw that UQAM was having problems with the student strike, I contacted my chair, Lucie Lequin, who agreed to officially sponsor the event.” She also contacted Conference Services and confirmed that space could be found.

There were three guest speakers at the plenary session: Gérard Bouchard, a historian, sociologist and well known author from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Denise Lussier, an emeritus professor at the Department of Education at McGill University, and Guy Dumas, associate deputy minister for the application of language policy.

There were 120 workshops and talks over the two days, and 21 exhibitors, mainly from publishing houses specialized in textbooks on French as a second language, but also from the Office de la langue française.

Bouffard said, “Besides the great visibility that it provided to the university — 575 participants invaded the Hall Building both on Thursday and Friday, and the Office québécois de la langue française announced that the event was taking place at Concordia on its very popular website It also was of benefit to our students interested in the teaching of French as a second language.

“Many students from the French studies department worked as volunteers during the conference, and were able to attend the workshops and conferences without paying.

“On a more lucrative side of things, bringing the conference to Concordia represented a $20,000 contract with Conference Services who, by the way, did a brilliant job!”