Selkirk International to Host BC TEAL Conference

Opening Up New Worlds Through Language


It’s one of the most important foundations of a shrinking world. Teaching English as an additional language is vital to commerce, community and creating conversations between cultures.

This October, BC Teachers of an Additional Language (BC TEAL) will hold its 2014 Interior Regional Conference at the Selkirk College Tenth Street Campus. More than 100 teachers, administrators and community leaders will take in the one-day event at Mary Hall.

“People are always going to want to learn English, that’s the bottom line,” says Tyler Ballam, the Selkirk College instructor who is heading up the organization of the conference. “How that’s delivered is where there is the dialogue.”

BC TEAL conference

Tyler Ballam teaches in both in both the English Language Program (ELP) and the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program (TESOL) at Selkirk College. He is one of the organizers of the upcoming BC TEAL conference which will take place at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus.

The theme for the conference is “Interior Designs: Building Teaching and Learning Communities.” The idea of building connections throughout communities is central to the conference concept considering most in attendance work in areas far removed from the Lower Mainland.

Though immigration is more pronounced in the larger urban centres, Ballam says his colleagues face similar challenges and put forward similar goals.

“You are not just a teacher,” he says. “For many of these students you are their first point of contact when they come to Canada. You are representing Canada and the place you live because they are dealing with culture shock. That adds to the stress because you are not just teaching a language, you are important to their lives, their success and their happiness.”

The conference takes place on October 4 at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus. Registration is now open at

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