Heritage Language Education Conference

20th-21st November 2020, online

The 2020 edition of the Heritage Language Education Conference is organised jointly by Mother Tongues (Ireland) & Móðurmál (Iceland) and will take place online on 20-21 November 2020. The conference is free for Mother Tongues and Móðurmál members. If you are not a member you can register below. 

This year more than ever, community-based language schools need to stand together and learn from each other. Our 2020 edition of the Heritage Language Education Conference creates a unique opportunity for teachers, researchers and all professionals involved in heritage language schooling to get familiar with the newest research, share experience and explore ideas to support heritage language education. This year’s main goal is to promote the value of international collaboration among professionals interested in community languages teaching and learning. Together we can go further.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Małgosia Machowska-Kosciak

Dr Małgosia Machowska-Kosciak is a Post Doctoral Researcher at Dublin City University, Ireland. Malgosia holds a PhD in applied linguistics from Trinity College Dublin and has been involved in several national and international projects focusing on multilingualism, multiculturalism and intercultural education in schools. She has recently published her book entitled ‘The Multilingual Adolescent Experience: Young Poles growing up in an English-speaking school’- “Small stories” of integration’ with Multilingual Matters.


Dr Siobhan Hannan is an Australian based researcher and an experienced early years teacher who founded the Bilingual Italian program at North West Brunswick Kindergarten. Siobhan has particular interest in outdoor pedagogy and completed her PhD in early childhood education at University of Melbourne. She is a member of The Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network and of the Teacher Learning Network in Australia, and a writer at BeingBelongingBecoming blog.
Dr Hannan will present on ‘Start young, and then younger still – introducing language teaching into preschool programs in Melbourne Australia’.

Guest Speakers:


Evan Furlong, owner of Dublin School of Mandarin Chinese. She holds a Masters in Education from UCD, Ireland and has been teaching Chinese Language and Culture courses to both primary and post-primary schools since 2008. Her areas of expertise are: heritage language teaching in the classroom and online, heritage language school management, projects and funding applications, IT resources for online language teaching.

jurgita milleriene

Jurgita Milleriene, the founder of the Lithuanian School in Iceland. She completed her BA degree in Lithuanian language and literature at the Vytautas Magni University and her BA in the Icelandic language for foreigners at the University of Iceland. Jurgita also holds a BA degree in preschool education. She has experience working in a preschool, in an upper secondary school, as well as a compulsory school where she is currently the Head of Department of younger students from 1st to 5th grade. In 2004 she established the Lithuanian School in Iceland.

Bibiam M. Gonzalez Rodriguez, holds a BA in Spanish Linguistics from Sonoma State University (California) and a MA in International Studies in Education from Háskóli íslands. Currently she is working on finishing her second MA in Spanish Literature. She has been teaching Spanish as a mother tongue since 2013 in Móðurmál. Her research focused on how to cultivate awareness and concern for Sustainable Development within the teachings of language. She has used her thesis’ topic in her own classroom, resulting in creating her own experience on the subject throughout the years.

salvo cacciato

Salvo Cacciato, secondary school teacher currently seconded as Advisor for Modern Foreign Languages with Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT). Salvo completed a master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literature in Italy. His master’s thesis was on early language learning and bilingual education. He has been working as a secondary school teacher in Ireland since 2005 and is the Chairperson of the Association of Teachers of Italian in Ireland (ATI). He has a passion for exploring the role of digital technologies in language learning. He recently joined the Board of Directors of Mother Tongues.

sen dublin

Conference Programme

Friday, 20th November 2020

7 -7.30 PM Opening and Introductions


8.55 -9 PM Summary

Saturday, 21st November 2020

4 -5 PM School Presentations

Complementary programme: More presentations of heritage language schools also available on the Móðurmál website.

5.00 - 5.20 PM Break-Out rooms. Networking & coffee time

5.20 - 6.20 PM Panel discussion with guest speakers

6.20 - 6.30 PM Conference Closing

We are also looking for heritage language teachers and headteachers to send us short 5 minute presentations/texts/recordings on their experience, strategies, projects initiatives.

Please note that this event is free for Mother Tongues and Móðurmál members. Becoming a member of Mother Tongues is easy and membership gives you access to the Conference, monthly teach meets, webinars and other events focused on exploring techniques, tips and resources for teaching heritage languages. To find out more about our membership, please visit mothertongues.ie/memberships

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Aga Pedrak: polski@mothertongues.ie

If you wish to receive information about the Conference and other activities, please subscribe to our Newsletter.

Become a Mother Tongues Member and register for our Conference in one go!

Please note: there are two memberships available here: for Heritage Language teachers and for Parents. Please select the right membership type in the dropdown menu. You will receive an email with important information to access the dedicated members’ area and to join the conference. PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER IF YOU DON’T GET THE EMAIL IN YOUR INBOX.
If you are an HSCL please click here.