Summer Literacy Symposium 2024

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The ELA Programs Team at the MEQ, in collaboration with the LCEEQ is offering a residential professional development series for evidence-based literacy instruction.

This 3 year program consists of 3-day workshops each summer and will give you the opportunity to learn, collaborate & build connections with educators from across the province. 

Contact your ELA consultant for registration details - limited registrants per Board/Organization so speak with your consultant.

Year 1 - August 18-21, 2024 at Manoir St. Sauveur (approx. 90 minutes north of Montreal)

Target Audience

  • ELA teachers from grades 1-7 and ELA consultants
  • Speak with your ELA consultant for ideas of who to bring along; your grade level partners, teachers from a variety of cycles, a leader from your school, etc.

What's included?

  • Professional development led by experts in the field of reading research and literacy instruction
  • Three nights accommodation in a double-occupancy room at Manoir St. Sauveur (other options also available)
  • All meals & access to hotel amenities

What's not included?

  • Travel costs to & from the Manoir

Featured Speakers

Dr. Peter Afflerbach - University of Maryland


Dr. Peter Afflerbach is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Maryland at College Park. His research interests are individual differences in reading, factors influencing reading achievement, reading comprehension strategies, and reading assessment. Afflerbach has served on National Academy of Education and National Academy of Science committees related to literacy and literacy assessment. He is a member of the NAEP 2025 Reading Framework Development Committee and has served on the NAEP Standing Reading Committee and prior Reading Framework Committees. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Literacy Research Association. Afflerbach was elected to the International Literacy Association’s Reading Hall of Fame in 2009 and is a Research Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Prior to his employment at Emory University and then the University of Maryland, Afflerbach served as a Chapter 1 remedial reading teacher, reading and writing teacher in middle school, and high school English teacher. He is a proud graduate of New York City Public Schools.

Dr. Hélene Deacon - Dalhousie University


Hélène Deacon is a Full Professor at Dalhousie University, where she directs the Language and Literacy Lab. She completed her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford in 2004. Her research investigates how children learn to read, and the ways in which high quality education enable full functioning in society. She publishes widely, with more than 100 peer-reviewed papers to date. Her research has won extensive recognition across fields, including from the National Academy of Education, the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathology and the United Kingdom Literacy Association. Deacon was recently named as a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada and one of the top 2% most impactful scientists worldwide.

Hélène lives in Halifax with her two kids who are 7 and 10 and fabulous. She is a connoisseur of live music and hiking trails, and looks forward to exploring both in the Laurentians.

Dr. Gene Ouellette - Mount Allison University


Dr. Gene Ouellette (Ph.D) is an internationally recognized researcher in the areas of reading, spelling, and topics exploring the links between oral and written language processes. Prior to completing his PhD in Psychology, Gene worked for over a decade as a Speech Language Pathologist and Special Education Consultant both within the public-school system and in private practice, working with students, parents, and teachers in areas to foster oral and written language development.

Gene is also the Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology and Professor at Mount Allison University, where he runs the Literacy Language Research Lab. His research exploring the links between spelling and reading, the development of word reading proficiency, and the connections between oral and written language has been published in top-tiered journals and presented at research conferences across Canada and the United States, and as far abroad as the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Hong Kong. Gene also delivers applied workshops and presentations directly to teachers and speech language pathologists, as well as to school and district administrators.

Gene is currently the Head of the Psychology Department at Mount Allison University, where he teaches courses on child development, educational psychology, language development, and literacy acquisition. Gene resides in Sackville, New Brunswick with his wife Katrina and energetic wiener dog, Bruno.

Dr. Sandra Martin-Chang - Concordia University


Sandra Martin-Chang received her bachelor’s in psychology at the University of Toronto, her Master's of Psychology at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland), and her PhD in Psychology from McMaster University. She has studied reading development for over two decades and has shared her research in talks throughout Canada, the US, Asia, Europe, and the UK. 

She studies how reading in context, (especially reading storybooks and novels), influences cognitive development (e.g., reading, spelling, world knowledge). She is additionally interested in the role of teacher knowledge and parent knowledge in children's learning. In 2020, she was a short-listed author for Wiley’s UKLA Literacy Award in Education. 

As a full Professor from one of Canada’s leading Departments of Education, she values the importance of disseminating her research to teachers and parents. To date, her work has been featured in many news outlets worldwide, including Psychology Today,, The Washington Post, and The Times of India, as well as on CNN, CBC, and CTV. 

Dr. Martin-Chang is currently serving as the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Education at Concordia. Her favourite things include reading juicy novels and cheering on the Toronto Raptors with her children.