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Canadian Studies Day 2016: Teaching Canada and Canadian Ecologies – Enseigner le Canada et les écologies canadiennes (14.06.2016)

The Canadian Studies Day 2016 "Teaching Canada and Canadian Ecologies – Enseigner le Canada et les écologies canadiennes" aimed at combining the current topic of ecologies with the demand for means of teaching this topic in schools. In her opening speech professor Carmen Birkle emphasised the importance of thematising ecology and praised the Marburg Centre for Canadian Studies: "By investigating Canadian culture with a focus on 'Teaching Canada - Enseigner le Canada - Kanada im Unterricht' and including ecological themes that have become as pressing as the recognition of diversity, Martin Kuester is at the forefront of how academia can engage in social, environmental, and cultural issues and make a difference." In addition to the conference on the topic the centre is also cooperating with some schools in order to conceptualise lesson plans about Canada for teaching French and English in Hessian schools. One of the highlights of the conference was the play "Job's Wife or the Delivery of Grace" written by Yvette Nolan and staged by a group of students of the Berufliche Schulen Gelnhausen. 

Manfred Overmann lead a workshop on Roch Carrier's "Le chandail de Hockey" and its film version by Sheldon Cohen. Afterwards, Overmann introduced the attendees to his website, which provides many resources for teaching French Canadian topics. Lars Bernshausen presented an innovative lesson plan on "Histoire de Québec" while Katharina Schmidt and Katrin Stefanie Klemann presented their ideas on facilitating the quebécois comedy "La grande séduction" for teaching French in schools. Martin Kuester und Alessandra Boller discussed the works of Margaret Atwood and Thomas King under the scope of "Ecology in Contemporary Canadian Literature" and how to use them in English lessons.

Another big part of the conference were the presentations by the students of a research project supported by QSL funds "Vermittlung kanadischer, ökologischer Themen im Fremdsprachenunterricht" ("Teaching Canadian Ecologies - Enseigner les écologies canadiennes"). Under Natascha Vonderschmitt's guidance, ten students of teaching degrees had been working on conceptualising their ideas for teaching ecological topics in French or English classes in close cooperation with teachers from different schools. In an overlap of our lecture series on ecologies with the Canadian Studies Day, René Schallegger gave a lecture on "Virtual Voices in the Wilderness" - Canadian video games and what makes them special.

We are grateful for the generous support of the Ursula-Kuhlmann-Fonds, the Marshall McLuhan Salon and the Embassy of Canada to Germany.

Two books based on the results of the student project have now been published. You can find further information about them on their corresponding pages: Teaching Canadian Ecologies and Enseigner le Québec.